• January


    • 2273
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    Passive House Skylights Now Available in the US – PR Web (press release)

    Passive House Skylights Now Available in the US PR Web (press release) Efficiency of the Lamilux FE Energysave model made it the first to achieve class A certification from the Passive House Institute of Germany, creators of the Passive House building standard – a certification which demands some of the most rigorous …

    • August


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    Zero Net-Energy Ready Homes to be Certified by Energy Department Partnership

    For people who think Passive House is a Fad.

    On Monday, August 20, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a newpartnership between the DOE Challenge Homeprogram and the Passive House Institute US to cooperate on the promotion of various levels of high-performance buildings on the path to zero net-energy.

    This news is a huge development for the passive house community and for PHIUS. The endorsement of PHIUS+ passive house certification through the DOE instantly makes passive house the most energy efficient option for builders, designers and developers who want to achieve a zero energy building. This recognition will go a long way toward making passive house mainstream.

    This took a lot of time and effort, and we owe thanks to Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect at the DOE, whose knowledge, vision and determination were critical to the effort. (Sam was the keynote at last year’s North American Passive House Conference.)

    So, how does this partnership change current PHIUS+ passive house certification and what do consultants need to know?

    In a nutshell: not much. A passive house already fulfills most of the Challenge Home requirements – certification essentially remains the same process with a few minor additions! Those additions are very good improvements, making the home even better. Indoor air quality requirements ask for low VOC materials and the water efficiency requirements establish a reasonable savings baseline, all good things.

    The Challenge Home requires rigorous third-party, on-site verification, which already is part of PHIUS+. PHIUS+ certified RESNET Raters already use an advanced passive house checklist created specifically for passive houses. (This testing protocol is actually more rigorous than the one the Challenge Home is using.)

    What Challenge Home brings to the table that PHIUS+ did not before is a more formalized exterior water management and flashing checklist. Having seen quite a few bad water management details during certification so far, we are happy to add a more formalized process to assure the long term durability of the house. QAQC is crucial to assure quality in execution, actual performance and peace of mind for the client we found.

    • June


    • 1842
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    Zehnder America, Inc. is Recognized for its Cutting-edge Residential Heat

    Zehnder America announces that it has completed the 3rd party testing of the Zehnder ComfoAir 350 HRV and has joined the Home Ventilating Institute (http://www.hvi.org) who is making these test results public. This breakthrough is the confirmation that Zehnder America is leading the way of the next generation of Heat and Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems in North America. Zehnder’s ComfoAir 350HRV with its counter flow heat-exchanger recovers over 90% of the room temperature. As a result, during a cold winter day, the incoming fresh air into the ho

    • February


    • 2970
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    Green wall system saves energy, increases air-cleaning efficiency

    The Active Phytoremediation Wall System is a modular system of pods, housing hydroponic plants. Its main purpose is to encourage airflow and contribute to the quality of life through its air cleaning capacities. The project is a result of a collaborative research between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
    It is a bio-mechanical hybrid system that produces ‘fresh air’ from within buildings, thereby reducing the energy consumption. Because the plants’ roots are exposed, instead of being buried in soil, the plants’ air-cleaning capacity increases by 200 to 300 percent. The pods themselves are made from vacuum-formed plastic, and the form allows the maximum amount of air to reach the root rhizomes while using the minimum amount of material. It also creates a beautiful base for the plants.

    • January


    • 1725
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    10 Green Building Predictions for 2012 from Earth Advantage Institute – MarketWatch (press release)

    10 Green Building Predictions for 2012 from Earth Advantage Institute MarketWatch (press release) Portland State University’s mechanical engineering department recently partnered with a local builder to measure the effects of phase change material used as insulation in a duplex passive house , while Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories is …

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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: