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Archive for July, 2009

Home Systems Integration Offers Visibility and Control Over Energy Use

Home Systems Integration Offers Visibility and Control Over Energy Use

Posted on 24. Jul, 2009 by .

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Jay Bakaler was very severe with me. “Don’t call it home automation!” he said. “Home automation got a bad name in the 80s and 90s, and now when people hear that word, they all run for the hills. What we do is systems integration, also called whole-house control systems. It’s more about choosing the right standalone systems and carefully and thoughtfully putting them together.”

[Update: Bakaler, who was working with Ultimate Control at the time that this article was written, has since left to found his own company, Metro Eighteen.] […]

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Net Zero Homes in Northern California

Net Zero Homes in Northern California

Posted on 20. Jul, 2009 by .

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Net zero energy buildings produce more energy than they consume, and while they can function autonomously from the grid, they aren’t necessarily disconnected from it – they can use the connection to sell excess energy back to the utility companies. Sounds too good to be true? Can you really get paid to solarize your home? Well, David Knight from the Monterey Energy Group just might be able to help you get there. His take as an experienced engineer on which of these technologies really makes sense should carry a lot of weight with both designers and their clients.

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Mark English Architects and Green Compliance Plus featured in “AIArchitect This Week”

Posted on 14. Jul, 2009 by .

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Does it pay to be nimble, light, and alone these days? As the reeling economy continues to wreak havoc on the design and construction industry (2,000 fewer people were working at architecture firms in the month of April alone) architects are being bounced from their jobs at traditional design firms and wondering where their skills fit into the economy’s seemingly willful refusal to build buildings. Experience from other sole practitioners and small firms that offer services to architects and architectural clients suggests that the best business model today allows architects to use their diverse skills wherever they see fit—plugging their expertise into hyper-specific micro markets that are too small for a large firm to work in, yet large enough to keep paying the bills. Four Bay Area architects have been doing just that, often after long and familiar experiences with large, traditional design firms. Though their practices are vastly different, they’ve all found that the freedom and flexibility of their consulting practices have allowed them to bob, duck, weave, and advance in a worsening design market.

logo 11 300x64 Mark English Architects and Green Compliance Plus featured in AIArchitect This Week

AIArchitect This Week | Consulting Practice Niches Create Shelter for Architects in a Thorny Economy

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Klopf Architecture Reflects an Eichler Sensibility in New Energy-Efficient Home

Klopf Architecture Reflects an Eichler Sensibility in New Energy-Efficient Home

Posted on 09. Jul, 2009 by .

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When I first ran the numbers on the new Title 24 project from Klopf Architecture, the numbers were so high – 50% over compliance – that I immediately assumed that I had made a mistake somewhere in the calculations. After an internal review, however, we realized that it really was one of the most efficient projects we had ever taken through the energy compliance process. How did they do it?
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