Modern. Sustainable. Atlanta. 404.303.7280

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1939
    • 0

    Roof, Attic Design Creates Green, Climate Controlled Houses – Laboratory Equipment

    A new kind of roof-and-attic system field-tested at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory keeps homes cool in summer and prevents heat loss in winter, a multi-seasonal efficiency uncommon in roof and attic design.

    The system improves efficiency using controls for radiation, convection and insulation, including a passive ventilation system that pulls air from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof.

    “Heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” says Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group. “And with a passive ventilation scheme, there are no moving parts, so it’s guaranteed to work.”

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1492
    • 0

    Green Your Home For Winter: 7 Cheap and (Sort Of) Easy Tips That Give You A Big Bang For Your Buck

    A decade ago, the Rocky Mountain Institute released Cool Citizens: Everyday Solutions to Climate Change: Household Solutions. It was full of great tips for what you can do to reduce your energy use. However I found the most important feature was this page, which ranked measures you can take by the bang for the buck. It was pretty shocking, demonstrating that we have been pretty much sold a bill of goods, of expensive green gizmos, that cost a fortune in proportion to the money and carbon they save; a programmable thermostat saves more than changing all your windows. Insulating your ducts saves more than an entire solar hot water system.

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1720
    • 0

    Affordable Solar Powered Air Conditioning In A Neat Little Package Is Finally Here

    ive percent of America’s electricity is used for residential air conditioning, and it is considered now to be a necessity, not a luxury. It’s usually needed most when the sun is shining, so as I have noted since 2006, Solar Powered Air Conditioning Just Makes Sense. For most of that time I have been looking at absorption units that run like a propane fridge, but I recently mused that perhaps it is time for a change in the way we think about this:

    I am wondering if the solar powered air conditioner might not be in the end a small, high efficiency home with a small, high efficiency air conditioner powered by a big honking bank of photovoltaics, and be done with it.

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 2542
    • 0

    Floating passive house close to mass production

    The Dutch subsidiary of IBC Solar AG, one of the world’s leading system integrators for photovoltaics, has helped bring AUT-ARK home, a floating passive home, a step closer to mass production. A prototype of AUT-ARK is currently anchored in Maastricht (Netherlands) and draws a huge number of interested visitors during its opening hours due to its unconventional construction design.

    IBC Solar B.V. provided its support for the planning, technical design and installation of the photovoltaic system for this unique, future-oriented project, which is powered by a total of 24 photovoltaic modules with a total output of 6,360 Wp (watt peak), an inverter and a solar energy storage unit.

    The home was designed by Pieter Kromwijk (Architectuur Coenegracht & Kromwijk, Maastricht) focusing on minimum energy demand, and is currently anchored in Maastricht. The prototype took nine months to build, and IBC Solar explains that “owing to the considerable interest shown, the floating passive home will soon be going into mass production. Then each home will only take 4 months to build”.

    “The AUT-ARK Home is a perfect example of how the homes of the future will look,” claims Peter Meijers, Managing Director of IBC Solar B.V. in the Netherlands enthusiastically. Once it has been anchored at its mooring, the passive house does not need to be connected to a waterside power supply – electricity and water are produced and treated by the home itself.

    “This is of particular interest in those areas where there is an abundance of rivers and lakes and only limited housing space. This problem could be solved with the passive house, which offers a new, self-sufficient living space,” explains Meijers. Thanks to its innovative construction and self-sufficiency concept, the floating passive home is ten times more energy-friendly than a conventional home of a comparable size.

    Peter Meijers was immediately convinced of the idea of the self-sufficient home and offered his advice in designing the power supply from the very beginning. The planning stage of the project was quite complicated. For example, the construction plans for the passive home were altered several times. IBC Solar B.V. adapted the energy concept for each draft accordingly. IBC Solar B.V. t

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1773
    • 0

    Why Construction Is Expensive

    Being a highly cost-effective design-build firm, we spend a significant amount of time and effort on project budgets. We publish the construction costs of most of our projects, discuss pricing in many of our posts, and have even gone to the extent of designing a construction cost cheat sheet. To us, the design and the finances of a project are interconnected. We’ve never cared for the vague and uninformed approach toward construction costs that are all too common in the architecture industry. In fact, it’s common for us to dive into a realistic construction budget discussion as early on as the initial interview for a new project.

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1445
    • 0

    7 reasons why green buildings are good for business

    The level of interest in and desire for ‘greener’ buildings is now pretty much mainstream. Consumers and businesses are taking seriously the benefits of operating in an environmentally responsible manner. As consequence it is becoming an expectation that companies will incorporate environmentally aware approaches in everything that they do, including their buildings.

    So, why do it? Why does it matter and what is the business benefit?

    • September

      18

      2012
    • 1781
    • 0

    Turkish Students Design dualWash, a Waterless Dishwasher That Doubles as a Kitchen Cabinet

    DualWash is a two sided dishwasher which can also be used as a kitchen cabinet. Waiting to load dirtydishes into your dishwasher and then do it all over again with the rest dirty dishes is our current problem with convential dishwasher. DualWash makes it possible to use full washing performance immediately after a single person completing a meal without wasting your resources (electricity and detergent), simply use one side of this unit. However, when a guest visits you, this appliance offers the advantage of

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 1838
    • 0

    Hidden Seam Failures? We Put Flashing Tapes to the Test

    There are a lot of key differences, so no conclusions should be drawn from this testing. In any case, not all manufacturers report D3330, so we needed to pick one set of conditions and run as many tapes as we had through that one. We hope this testing provides some suggestive information.

    And here is a thought: maybe our “benchtop” testing will inspire (or anger?) some experts from PSA tape manufacturers or test programs to conduct some field or field-like service life performance testing. We’d love to see more manufacturers engage in testing along the lines of the Sustainable Building Solutions Test Facility Tremco has going, in partnership with the Department of Energy.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 1437
    • 0

    DIY Black Tea Window Cleaner

    o-it-yourself cleaning and cosmetics have kind of become my obsession my hobby. I think about how I used to slap down my cold hard cash for all those creepy chemicals, those toxins just sitting under my sink, with their smells that seemed to permeate my every pore. I remember the artificial aqua, the glowing neon green, such unnaturally bright colors. And I’ll never forget that cloying, eye-watering suffocation that came from cleaning a too-tiny bathroomwith too many kinds of soaps and powders and pastes and bleaches. Oof.

    I think back to those days and I can’t help but smile. Because now, I’m spending mere pennies and my cleansers and cosmetics are good enough to eat – literally! And my house is just as clean as ever and my body is just as beautiful, and gosh, but everything is so much more pleasant.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 2890
    • 0

    New Mexican Adobe, German Efficiency Style

    I’ve seen several projects pursue both LEED Platinum and Passive House certification, but I can’t think of any that actually went through with the aim other than this Passive House, Platinum-certified home in Taos, New Mexico. The 2,400 square-foot home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and 1.1 acres of land with a serene, scenic view of Taos Mountain to the east, Truchas Peaks to the South, and pasture land to the west.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 1351
    • 0

    Buildings’ energy-management systems move toward integration

    The explosive growth ingreen buildings over the past decade is flattening the built environment.

    Until recently, building automation, lighting controls, fire safety and other base building systems were designed and deployed to support a single building service and operated independently on proprietary network and cables. Green building’s emphasis on integrated design and whole-building performance has accelerated the convergence of these silos into a single platform, transforming a fragmented, vertical value chain into an integrated, horizontal value chain.

    Simply put, the building management business is becoming flat and doing so fast. This convergence of information and communications technology and physical infrastructure in the built environment is providing building owners and occupants with actionable information about a building or space that allows them manage that building or space more effectively.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 1883
    • 0

    Sleek & Sustainable Prefab Outdoor Shower Assembles in 30 Minutes

    There’s nothing quite as invigorating as showering outdoors, under an open sky as birds flit overhead. While there are many ways to build one from the ground up, it does take time. Oborain is one Massachusetts-based company that’s offering pre-fabricated models that are hand-built in their shop, uses sustainably-harvested materials and can be assembled and plumbed on any level surface in an impressive thirty minutes.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 1545
    • 0

    The Pros and Cons of Switching to a Tankless Water Heater

    If the idea of constantly heating your water in a big tank sitting in your basement sounds mighty inefficient and wasteful to you, then a tankless water heater may be the right option for you. I’ve researched some of the advantages of a tankless water heater system, alongside some of the compromises that come with the compact, more energy efficient option.

    PROS

    There are many advantages to going with a tankless water heater. From increased energy efficiency and lowered operating costs to space savings and extended lifespan, find out more about what makes for good reasons to go tankless.

    Energy Savings / Operating Costs
    The first thought on tankless water heaters is generally: how much energy/money am I going to save? Well right off the bat, you’re going to be spending MORE money to get a tankless water heater and all its plumbing in place. While a tankless water heater costs more upfront, your operating costs down the line should start to make up for it. What you’re saving is in not having to spend money on standby heat, meaning you’re not wasting money heating water in a tank that’s just sitting idly waiting for someone to need hot water. Tankless systems provide that hot water on demand, instantaneously, when you need it, so you don’t have to waste energy heating unused water. You’re also not losing heat that’s idly sitting in a tank that, while insulated, is still going to lose heat and require constant reheating. Our friendly federal government has a nice energy cost calculator.

    • September

      8

      2012
    • 2005
    • 0

    Efficient Living: Faucet Aerators

    Easy to install, these faucet aerators not only swivel, spray and stream, but they also feature a flip switch that lets you briefly turn the water on and off. This is great while washing dishes because it maintains the water at your perfect temperature, while allowing you to temporarily shut off the water when you’re doing things like: (1) transferring big pots after rinsing, or (2) each time you lean over to fill a dish rack. Because you’re not changing the entire faucet, just adding to the tip, they’re great for

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Costs of Custom Homes

The first thing most people want to know is: What does it costs to build a 3000 sqft custom home in the Atlanta, GA. market?  The first thing you have to calculate is the square footage you want.  Once you have that, the numbers below give you a good starting point.

Adjusted Square Foot Calculation:

New Construction:

Renovations:

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