Even though we were staying home and keeping a safe distance when we had to go out, there was a lot of work, and progress, going on. Webinars, working groups and communications are alive and well online and on the phone. Technology is keeping us together while we must stay apart.
Explore how sustainably built homes provide healthier indoor air quality, quiet, durability, energy and water conservation and lower related costs, even higher resale value.
We interviewed the owners of Central California’s first certified Passive House that we completed in November 2012. The dramatic energy and water savings they experienced were givens. It was the bonus benefits that made us smile. For starters, all year round every room is kept at a consistent temperature—no dips or spikes to get in the way of comfort. Evidence that the filtered air is pristine shows up in interesting ways. At the four-year mark, they haven’t had to dust once…not a single time.
We’ve long used insulation as a way to increase energy efficiency, but if air is leaking in and out, even the best insulation simply can’t do its job. That’s where air sealing comes into play. While it’s possible, and advisable, to air seal an existing structure, here we are creating an air tight seal during the construction process.
When you construct an airtight building, you need to provide ventilation. We use a Heat Recovery Ventilation or HRV system. The HRV system enables the exchange of fresh, filtered air, removing dust, allergens, smoke from distant wildfires and other particles as well as moisture.
Living Building Challenge (LBC) is not just a new way of building. It’s a new way of thinking and living that carefully considers and respects our finite natural resources and precious environment. On top of significantly reducing energy consumption and producing the remaining energy needed to run the house onsite, meeting the LBC challenge includes avoiding use of toxic materials included on their “Red List.”
Studies show that the average home wastes more than 3,650 gallons a year waiting for the hot water to make it to the faucet. And about 15% of the energy used in conventional hot water delivery systems is wasted. That’s an unnecessary burden on your energy budget as well as on our area’s limited water supply and other natural resources.