Archive for September, 2010
Posted on 20. Sep, 2010 by Rebecca Firestone.
Up until recently, residential architects varied in their knowledge of heating and cooling systems. Many architects whose focus is primarily one-off, custom residential projects, have simply assumed some form of conditioning and then left the details to their contractor. Finalizing the details may not occur until late in the project, long after the opportunity for building optimization has passed.
What most people also don’t realize is that the manner in which a system is installed and configured can have a dramatic effect on how much it can deliver. Most private residential projects haven’t budgeted for a separate mechanical engineer upfront to optimize efficiencies among systems or to suggest additional measures during the design phase.
Beyond that, of course, there’s another reason for California architects to start paying closer attention to systems upfront: Title 24 energy compliance. The new energy code is stricter, and the default assumptions are no longer good enough for some homes to pass. The Title 24 is typically done when submitting to Planning, at the end of Schematic Design – long before anyone thinks about the furnace other than to say, “Oh yeah, we were going to keep the existing furnace and ductwork from 1956.”
Posted on 09. Sep, 2010 by Rebecca Firestone.
Of all the green building guides for homeowners out there, here is one that should be on everyone’s shelf – owners, architects, builders alike. It’s called “Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet” by Ann V. Edminster, a Bay Area local. Everything I’ve been struggling so hard to explain to our Title 24 clients, even in a limited way, is presented in this book with clarity and accuracy, in a very readable and lively prose style. It’s backed by both the latest research and by personal experience and observation.