Archive for 'Value of Green'

GREENBUILD 2012 San Francisco: A personal take.

GREENBUILD 2012 San Francisco: A personal take.

Posted on 25. Apr, 2013 by .

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All of us at Mark English architects, and most of the rest of our colleagues, are involved in thinking about and implementing Green Building practices. Last year the Greenbuild Expo arrived in San Francisco, and several of our employees attended. One of them is Benjamin Todt, a German architectural intern.  Germany is a leading proponent of Green design, and [...]

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A Sustainable Home is a Safer Home

A Sustainable Home is a Safer Home

Posted on 22. Apr, 2013 by .

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Occasionally at Green Compliance Plus, we host guest articles from members of our community. Here is one perspective from the Insurance Industry.

People who are building or already own sustainable homes understand that their homes will use less energy and water. What they might not realize is that their homes also are much safer than conventionally built homes. Or that the enhanced safety features can result in less risk for home insurers and better rates for coverage. [...]

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LEED for Homes: Is It Worth It?

LEED for Homes: Is It Worth It?

Posted on 05. Jul, 2011 by .

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Every so often at the AIA-San Francisco Small Firms group, we debate amongst ourselves whether getting our residential projects LEED certified is worth the effort. For most of us, with one-off custom residential new homes or remodels, the answer is no – too cumbersome and expensive. If someone is just looking for “green certification” for a California home project, the GreenPoint Rated system from BuildItGreen is a lot more flexible and user-friendly. However, there are a few architects who’ve really made a big push towards LEED certification on some of their homes. So, what are they getting out of it? How do you decide whether to go for GreenPoints or LEED, and what needs to happen with LEED for the process to go smoothly?

(Home shown above is designed by Sparano + Moody Architecture, and has earned LEED Silver certification. But LEED homes don’t all have to be in the wilderness, either.)

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Interview with a Green Homeowner

Interview with a Green Homeowner

Posted on 09. Jan, 2011 by .

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About a year ago, we published an article about an exceptional Title 24 project – an astonishing 50% over compliance – and now we present an interview with the homeowner who commissioned the design. The single-family home, designed by Klopf Architecture, is currently under construction by Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders (As an aside, we’ve done design interviews with both Klopf and Mat-Pel on our sister blog, The Architect’s Take.)

Many residential architects would like to design homes as energy-efficient as this one, but without client buy-in, it’s usually not possible to go beyond a certain point. Over and over, we have heard that client commitment to sustainable principles is THE key to building green! So, here we have a green homeowner and design client who’s willing to discuss – anonymously – why he’s doing as much as he is, and why it’s worth doing.

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Book Review: Energy Free Homes for a Small Planet

Book Review: Energy Free Homes for a Small Planet

Posted on 09. Sep, 2010 by .

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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.

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Green Certification: Is It Worth It?

Green Certification: Is It Worth It?

Posted on 12. Jul, 2010 by .

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When we’re advising our Title 24 clients on their residential projects, the first concern is whether the project will meet the State of California’s requirements for efficient energy consumption – and, if it doesn’t, what measures are needed to bring the project into compliance. A home’s Title 24 compliance “score” is expressed according to the percentage by which the home exceeds the baseline efficiency standards set forth by the California Energy Commission, and these standards are tightened every 3 years.

For the most part, people are relieved just to get their home to zero. For many projects, this is challenging enough. But sometimes, additional measures could boost a home’s compliance score higher, and are much easier to take while construction is already occurring. For example, in a remodel where walls are opened, why not insulate those walls? Well… obviously it’s an additional cost that budget-conscious owners may not want to absorb at the time. But, aren’t they potentially leaving money on the table, too? What value is there in achieving a positive compliance margin?
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