Posts Tagged ‘Green Builders’
This is the last day this house will be open to the public. Come out today between 10am and 4 pm to see this amazing one of a kind house with the round front door. Whimsical and charming, this house hides the fact that it is on the cutting edge of Built Green and sustainability. I will be hosting the house all day along with Diane Gassman of Interior Dimensions. It’s a house everyone should see. From Rainer rd, turn right on Steadman, right on 103rd and left on Katie Ann. From Hwy 99 turn left on Waldrick, left on Steadman, left on 103rd and left on to Katie Ann
Don’t miss the Eco Building Guild’s South Sound Green Tour this weekend, April 16th and 17th. All sites are open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is also a Expo at the Lott building behind Alpine Experience. Come see all the wonderful site and vendors. Look in Friday’s Olympian for the insert with all the information. We are featuring the Hobbit House this year. Come out and see the round door. The address is 10621 Katie Ann Lane. Follow the signs from Steadman Rd. Turn on to 103rd and then on to Katie Ann Lane. Hope to see you there.
It has long been known that without making your home air tight, there is no way for your insulation to perform at it true r value. For example if your walls are built with 2 X 6 studs and insulated with R-21 insulation batts, without the house being airtight, the insulation performs at a reduced R value, something around a R-17. This is caused by gaps between the studs and the insulation which allow air to leak by. The problem in the past with making a home air tight was that the process would also trap moisture in the walls, which would lead to dry rot. Back in the 80′s and early 90′s air tightness was tried by installing 6 mil. plastic on the studs and drywalling over it. With plywood or OSB on the exterior of the wall, this left no place for the water to escape. I remember walking into houses before the drywall was installed and watching the water run down the sheets of plastic. This method of air sealing was quickly dropped and no real alternative was offered. Some minor air sealing of the bottom wall plate to the floor with caulk and foaming around doors and windows is about as far as we’ve gotten with the codes.
Just this year Washington state has adopted a stricter insulation code. It is basically the old Energy Star standards. One part of the code is the requirement that all new home have a blower door test prior to final inspection. Blower door test measures the amount of air leaks a home has. New homes are required to have a blower door score of 7.5 or lower. What this means is that if the air pressure difference between the outdoors and the inside of your house is 50 pascals (50 pound per square inch) then the air in your house will completely exchange itself seven and one half times in an hour. This is still a drafty house but its a start.
By making homes airtight we obviously can cut down the cost of heating these homes. Done correctly we also can build the walls in a manor that will allow moisture to escape. This is the best way to build. In future articles I will talk more about the methods behind this type of construction
A pretty home in a quiet suburb, kids playing on the porch, toys littering the driveway and a large backyard with a pretty garden. This is usually the picture most homeowners want when they are remodeling their homes. In particular, the large backyard with a pretty garden is very common, especially for those with kids. While it may seem to be the perfect addition to a green home, a garden that is not well-planned can actually do more harm than good to the environment, by causing you to waste water.
Going water-wise is not just limited to toilets and faucets. If you have a garden, a large amount of water goes down there too, sometimes much more than is necessary to keep your garden green. Thus, we often suggest water-efficient landscaping and gardening when we remodel homes. This does not mean tearing up your garden from hearth. Although it is always easier to do over the entire garden, water efficient practices can also be integrated with the way your current garden is. And this can be done quite simply:
• The first way to limit the amount of water you put into your garden is to choose the plants you water carefully. Some plants tend to survive longer with little water and ideally these should be your first choice. This does not mean you turn your garden into a cacti exhibit. Most of the plants that grow naturally in your surroundings are your best option. Trying to grow and maintain an exotic garden can prove to take up a lot of water and money and effort.
• Soil preparation is an important part of creating a water-efficient garden. After the climate, your soil is what will determine what kind of plants will grow best, with less water. Planting ones that suit your soil or treating the soil accordingly before you plant will ensure that your garden works well with the natural weather and minimal water supply.
1. Shades, Awnings, Blinds, Curtains and even foliage around the windows can affect solar heat gain and can also be a cheap way to cool the house.
2. There are five parts of a window that affect its energy efficiency: Glazing technology; Frame; Operating Type i.e. how it opens and closes; Low-E coatings; Gas fills; Spacers. You need to check all these aspects of a window and ensure that they are the best suited for your climate.
3. Depending on the kind of problem you think you’re likely to have, focus on each of the six parts mentioned above. For instance:
a. If you live in predominantly warm and sunny climate, then you will need to focus on Glazing, Low-E coatings
b. If your weather is humid, then attention to spacers, frames and operating type will keep condensation and leakage problems in check
c. In cold climates, glazing, frame, spacers and gas fills need to be checked well before buying
4. Energy-efficient mortgages are a way of paying for energy efficient windows, which typically cost more than regular windows. This actually turns out to be quite cost effective, because the savings on energy and utility bills arising out of energy-efficient homes offsets the monthly mortgage payments. To get more details, visit the energy department in your state.
5. Important: Get your energy efficient windows installed by a professional. If not installed properly, they will be less efficient than even regular windows. . Make sure your installation expert has experience in installing windows and is familiar that particular manufacturer.