Tag Archives: energy saving

Property Spotlight – Green GOOD Design Winner 2011

green house

They mean green

Here’s how the Krones home embraces green design principles:

Optimizing use of the sun: Scott designed the home to incorporate passive and active solar strategies. Two courtyards are edged in Moduline sliding glass doors and floor-to-ceiling windows. They face south and west to capture light and heat, supplementing12 photovoltaic panels on the gabled garage roof that provide power to the house.

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Improving indoor air quality: Geothermal heating and cooling and an electronic air filter that removes allergens and pollutants provides economical environmental control; the garage is 37 feet away from the house to eliminate exhaust fumes; and the Krones used low-VOC materials throughout the house.

Using the land responsibly: “We choose a compact corner lot by East Wilmette standards, which is close to public transportation, schools, services and the beach,” says Scott. Scott maximized the home’s footprint with vaulted ceilings that drop to five feet on the edges of the second floor and soar to 23 feet in the center. “Village zoning doesn’t count any space lower than seven feet, so we effectively increased the size of the house by 20 percent,” he estimates. He also optimized the site by setting the long side of the house’s T-shape facing the house next door, fenestrating it with clerestory windows for privacy.

Creating a high-performance and moisture-resistant house: The house is built with engineered lumber, steel, common brick and fiber cement board, and the roof is standing seam aluminum — all materials that contribute to the strength, water resistance and reflectivity of the house. Coupled with high-density foam insulation and the heating and cooling system, “the house costs us very little in monthly expenses and is easy to maintain,” says Scott.

Wisely using the Earth’s natural resources: “We’ve very careful about what we bring into the house and how much we own,” says Sharon. “We’ve chosen our furnishings very carefully to last for a lifetime.”

Read entire article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/home/ct-mag-0811-greener-gestures,0,3857817.story

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

Take a Video Tour of an Earthship

Video: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/11/earthship_biotecture_renegade_new_mexico_architects

Earthship creator Michael Reynolds, interviewed by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman. What’s amazing is how jungle-like it is indoors, with bananas growing, a pond for tilapia and much more. Reynolds shares his view that everyone lived in houses that supplied all their needs, there would be no reasons for war. He also said he’s working on Earthship townhouses to prove that the same techniques can work in an urban setting.

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Reynolds calls himself a “biotect,” as he lost his license as an architect for breaking rules — mainly involving the handling of sewage, he says. Here’s how he explains the sewage design in Earthships:

“We get the water from the sky — rain and snowfall — and we use it four times: We use the water for taking a shower; and then we use the water for running through the botanical cells growing plants; and then we collect it again at the end of the botanical cell and flush the toilet with that same water; and then that water gets treated in a septic or anaerobic system, and then it overflows into more botanical cells that are used for landscaping. So, in the end, no water ever leaves the premises that came from the sky.”
Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

Get Furnace Ready for Winter

Right now is one of the busiest times of year for heating and air conditioning professionals, as we transition from hot summer months to cooler temperatures. For a safe and comfortable fall season, here are some safety measures and energy-efficiency tips for homeowners:

1. Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector installed. The state of California recently passed an act requiring all residences to have a detector; it can save you from odorless gasses emitted from furnaces, fireplaces, stoves and other gas-fired appliances.

2. Check your insulation to ensure that air/heat is not leaking out of your home. This can cause your system to run unnecessarily and cost you more money.

3. Change your filters and get your ducts cleaned, especially during this season of Santa Ana winds. It is important to remove extra debris and other irritants from the system. Changing your filter can slow down the dirt and debris buildup.

4. Change the batteries in your thermostat. If the system has been running hard all summer, it might seem as though there’s an appliance issue, when, in reality, the batteries simply need to be changed.

5. Here is one of the easiest heating tips for cooler weather: On sunny days, take advantage of the sun to bring in heat. Adjust blinds so they are open and tilted toward the ceiling — but be sure to close the blinds at sundown.

6. Set your ceiling fan in the reverse position, on low. When radiant heat enters your home from the windows aimed upward, the fan will help circulate warm air all around the room.

Find a trusted heating and air conditioning company to help with any safety or energy concerns you may have as you transition into the cooler months. When dealing with electricity and gas, it is always best to call a professional.

Follow these maintenance tips and you’ll keep your system running efficiently, and at the lowest cost, throughout the fall season.

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only