Energy Efficiency

The Uncertain Future of Energy

Since the early 1970’s the retail cost of energy has increased at twice the rate of inflation, and it is unclear what energy prices will be in the future. What if the prices of electricity and natural gas triple in the next 10 years? Would you be able to afford to keep your house at the desired temperature setting?

Reducing a building’s operational energy is the best protection against an uncertain future. No one knows what types of energy we will be using, nor how much they will cost. Therefore, our goal is to build you a high performing, efficient home that reduces environmental damage, and saves you $100’s on utility bills each year.

  1. R-10 basement slab floor insulation

  2. R-20 foundation walls

  3. R-40 above grade walls

  4. R-60 roof

  5. High R-value windows and doors

  6. Appropriate window selection for different areas of home

  7. Conditioned attics for maximum efficiency

  8. +92% Efficient furnace

  9. +16 SEER Air Conditioner

  10. High efficiency water heater

  11. Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV)

  12. ACCA Manual's J, S, and D in mechanical system design

  13. Computer modeling to determine heating and cooling loads

  14. Evaluate different heat distribution options such as radiant floor heating

  15. Performance testing/analysis

  16. Keep all mechanical equipment and water lines in conditioned space (out of attics)

  17. Design short and straight duct runs

  18. Air seal all penetrations, sheathing seams, rim joists, and plates on exterior walls

  19. Air-Tight Drywall Approach (ADA)- sealing drywall to wall penetrations and wall plates

Net Zero Homes

Net zero energy building is a term used to describe a home or building that produces more energy annually (from solar electric, solar thermal, wind, etc) than energy it receives from the grid. This is no easy task, and can be extremely expensive without good planning and design. Our knowledge of construction, building science, solar energy systems, and cost-effective energy efficiency strategies will guide homeowners and builders looking to achieve a Net Zero home.

  1. Calculated roof overhangs to maximize solar gain in winter, and to minimize solar gain in summer

  2. Provide appropriate controls and zoning for HVAC       

  3. Commissioned (inspect, test, & tune) HVAC systems   

  4. Mastic sealed ducts to prevent leakage                   

  5. Efficient hot water distribution system (central location, short water lines, manifolds, etc)

  6. Specify on-demand hot water recirculation system   

  7. Insulate hot water pipes       

  8. Daylighting strategies such as solartubes and skylights   

  9. Energy-efficient electric lighting   

  10. ICAT (insulation contact, air-tight) rated recessed lighting   

  11. Provide appropriate indoor and outdoor lighting controls (dimmers, timers, and motion detectors)

  12. Energy Star rated clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ceiling fans, and exhaust fans   

  13. Power strips to eliminate phantom loads   

  14. Consideration of solar water heating   

  15. Consideration of solar electric (photovoltaic) systems

  16. Solar ready building; pre-plumbed chases for future solar installations   

  17. Homeowner instruction on proper maintenance of appliances and mechanical equipment

Energy Efficiency Strategies