Often times we are asked what defines a Passive House. Check out this awesome interactive map on the Passive House Institute website that describes the various components of a house and how they all play a role in creating a Passive House (screenshot below). Houses are like human bodies – in order to have a healthy home, every component is important and affects the health of the overall system.
Creating public awareness of the features and benefits of a LEED project is an integral part of the LEED for Homes process. It invites the public to learn more about the residential green building movement and possibly to make positive changes in their homes or workplaces.
In the Awareness & Education category, we will achieve 1 point for Public Awareness by choosing to complete at least 3 out of the 4 options:
- Publish a website that provides detailed information about features and benefits of a LEED home. (Check out the Neuhaus blog for updates!)
- Display LEED for Homes signage. (Check out the sign below – Wave Crest is AGB’s parent company)
- Generate a newspaper article for LEED for Homes (Here is one written in the Encinitas Patch, but we may create another closer to final)
- Hold a public open house or participate in a green building exhibition or tour (We will see!)
Here is our LEED for Homes signage:
The 7th annual Green Homes Tour is this weekend, Saturday November 12th from 10am – 3pm!
Whether you’re looking for ideas to remodel your own home or are just interested in sustainability in the built environment, it will be a great event to learn new techniques and meet like-minded individuals. The 10 homes are all unique and sustainable in their own ways, from strawbale homes in Campo and Jamul to our LEED Platinum and Passive House in Ramona to a LEED Platinum multifamily in Chula Vista.
Register for this self-guided tour here
and use the affiliate code gr33n-hom3s to get in free:)
View the full list of homes and their key features here. We hope to see you Saturday!
Last week Founders Jeff Adams and Rich Williams along with Green Programs Manager Katie Teare went to LA Greenbuild International Conference & Expo! Along with learning about new products and trends in the green building industry, we attended a launch party for the new Passive House book in which our Casa Aguila project is featured! Check it out here: California’s Energy Future: Passive House Buildings
To see all of our pictures from the trip, view the Facebook album!
Lynne Mitschke, our wonderful GreenPoint Rater, was interviewed by the SD Union Tribune to share her expertise on green remodeling. Lynne talks about her most recent GPR project the Dimock Residence, where she and Katie Teare (AGB’s Green Programs Manager) provided consulting to Charlie and Hilary of Dimock Construction on their remodel and addition. The project achieved GPR Gold Certification!ut-san-diego-gpr-consulting-dimock
Thinking about demolishing your existing home and starting from scratch? Consider deconstruction instead of demo to save money and materials
The prospective of fixing up your home can be a daunting, especially in older home with deep-rooted problems that are expensive and difficult to fix. Another route is to demolish and rebuild, which can be expensive and time-consuming but gives you control over every aspect of the final product and can ensure a higher level of quality and durability.
If you are considering the latter, “deconstruction” is an unconventional yet clever alternative to “demolition”. Usually during demolition, the scheduled areas are knocked down and the mixed debris is hauled away to the landfill. With deconstruction, the house is essentially “unbuilt” with salvageable materials being sent to reuse companies for other projects. This is more time consuming and more costly upfront, however can save money overall.
Take for example our 3-story, single family project in Encinitas that we deconstructed instead of demo’d. We partnered with our friends at The ReUse People of America to salvage tons of materials including old cabinets, countertops, light fixtures, wood flooring, lumber, sinks, bricks, and molding. Deconstruction ended up being a Win-Win-Win because:
1. Where possible, materials will be re-used, and that means less material going to the landfill. Remaining materials from deconstruction primarily go to recycling centers, such as the EDCO transfer station in Escondido, or to Moody’s where demolished concrete gets recycled. Very little is transported to a conventional landfill.
2. Re-Used materials go to both partner organizations such as Habitat For Humanity, and to a retail sales outlet where folks can buy used materials at great prices
3. The homeowner gets a great Tax Deduction as a “Non-Cash Charitable Contribution” which greatly offsets the entire cost of deconstruction.
So overall, the process may take longer but is much more cost-effective and environmentally-conscious than the traditional demolition. On this project, the reuse and recycling of materials greatly offset the amount of material generated by this project going to the landfill, which also contributed to our achieving GreenPoint Rated Certification. GreenPoint Rated, an independent green building certification program run by Build It Green, sets a standard for high-quality and environmentally-conscious construction through every stage of a project. To learn more about the sustainable techniques implemented in this project, visit the project blog!
Congratulations to the Dimock Residence for earning Build It Green‘s GreenPointRated GOLD Certification! The Dimocks are an owner-builder couple that wanted to build their forever home in Pacific Beach as healthily and sustainably as possible. They rose to the GPR challenge and finished with more knowledge about environmentally-conscious construction techniques and quite the beautiful home!
Some features that contributed to Gold Certification included:
- Recycled content insulation, above code R-value
- Quality Insulation Installation (QII) inspection
- Recycled all possible waste to divert from landfills
- Tight envelope, verified by blower door test to test leakage
- Low VOC caulks, adhesives, and paints
- Low flow showerheads, faucets, and low-flush toilets
- Drought tolerant landscaping, hydrozoning, efficient irrigation, rain sensors
- Rainwater catchment in a 666gal tank
- Energy Star appliances and ceiling fans
- Recycled bamboo flooring, low VOC
- Low VOC CARB-2 compliant cabinetry
- High efficacy lighting
- Low-u and low-shgc windows
- Recycled content decking
Our first two GreenPoint Rated projects are complete! GreenPoint Rated is an independent green building certification program that evaluates sustainability in every aspect of construction. You can read how these techniques were integrated into their project blogs [blog links below each slider].
Jaska Nolan, a 3-story 6183 sf home, located in Encinitas, CA. Jaska Nolan Blog
The Greisman Residence, a single story 5475 sf home, located in La Costa, CA. Greisman Blog
We had a great turnout at the Grand Opening of Casa Aguila last week! It was a pleasure to meet the new folks and to catch up with the familiar faces. Thank you all for coming out – the participation and the interest of the community are part of what makes the project so special.
We are excited to announce the initiation of the Neuhaus, a new LEED-registered project in Encinitas. The owner enjoys much of her time outdoors and intends to minimize the environmental impact of the project through energy-conscious building design and lifecycle-assessed material choices. She decided on the project name Neuhaus because ‘Haus’ is German for house and ‘neu’ is German for new. Neu is pronounced ‘noy or noi’ just like koi fish. Rebuilding this house from the studs, with sustainability integrated in the design, allows for the creation of a healthy home that will last for generations.