Jesse is our Site Supervisor / Project Manager at Casa Aquila, our Passive House project in Ramona. We sent him up to Portland last week for the rigorous training required in order to become a Passive House Certified Builder. Now we don’t have to tell him anymore how to do it! He still has to take his exam and pass it. Not an easy thing to do, it takes about 3-full days to complete the exam. Good luck, Jesse, you better pass!
Casa Aguila was on the Green Homes Tour this past Sunday, and we had a great turnout! It was nice to meet so many knowledgeable, eco-minded San Diegans. Thanks to everyone who was able to stop by our property or other sites on the tour!
Have you ever looked forward to a relaxing warm shower, only to find you need to run cold water for minutes before hot water finally arrives? Not only is it an inconvenience, but it is a significant waste of a precious resource. We were lucky enough to have Gary Klein, the nation’s leading hot water distribution expert, out at our Casa Aguila site to discuss energy and water conservation strategies. Our goal with Gary was to develop a hot water system for the project that wastes less than one cup of water while waiting for hot water to arrive at the faucet.
Domestic hot water accounts for about 30% of household energy consumption, so there is substantial opportunity to conserve energy and resources by increasing the efficiency of the hot water distribution system. An ideal system would 1) have hot water almost instantaneously, 2) have safe water (not too hot, no harmful bacteria), and 3) never run out. In larger homes such as Casa Aguila, supplying immediate hot water is a challenge because fixtures are often located far from the water heater.
We discussed installing a hot water recirculation pump throughout the house so when the fixture is turned on it has a hot water supply adjacent to it. However, then we needed to address how much water and energy would be spent recirculating and heating the water during long periods of time when no one is using the facilities, such as when the homeowners are normally sleeping. For this concern we explored the ideas of time and motion sensors, or a manual switch, so that ideally the pump would only run right before someone would need it. We look forward to testing the system!
Alliance Green Builders is listed as the premier event sponsor for this year’s annual Green Homes Tour, hosted by the US Green Building Council. This tour showcases eco-friendly homes across San Diego and highlights innovation in environmental construction and design.
Our Casa Aguila home in Ramona will be on the tour and is on its way to becoming LEED Platinum certified and San Diego’s first certified Passive House. When finished, it aims to be a net-positive energy home, meaning it will generate more energy than it uses through on-site wind turbines and solar PV. Some more green features include black water recycling (first in the region), rainwater harvesting for all indoor water use, high efficiency appliances and lighting, and native landscaping.
This self-guided tour will take place on Sunday November 9, 2014 from 11am-4pm and is open to the public ($5 registration fee) and USGBC members for free. If you are interested in attending please register here.
We are pleased to announce that Katie Teare has joined the AGB Team as our Green Programs Manager. Like both Jeff and Rich, Katie is a UC Santa Barbara alumni and holds a BS in Environmental Science. Her responsibilities include managing and administration of LEED for Homes, GreenPointRATED, Passive House, and Energy Star Homes programs/certifications for our projects. By end of November she will will be a USGBC LEED Green Associate,and a Certified Green Building Professional (Build It Green.) We already have her working on six projects, so she has her hands full.