Eco-Friendly Smart Homes Are Good For The Environment

Each single day, individuals from all walks of life begin enjoying the various benefits a wise home provides. Money savings and convenience the list, however, clever house owners may also feel good their house makes Mother Earth grin.

If you have always wondered what makes a wise house"smart" and the way the intelligent house supports an environmentally aware lifestyle you have come to the ideal location.

LG: Beat the Heat with Reliable and Efficient HVAC Systems

At the ReVISION House Austin, LG helps strategically control varying temperatures throughout the house.

When Tiana Cooper purchased her house in Austin, she knew significant changes were needed to increase the home's efficiency and comfort. "The utility bills were high. The HVAC was old. And, honestly, we didn't really know where to start," says Cooper.

Decarbonization: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

This webinar will explore how the transition to the Decarbonization Economy will free us of carbon emissions and yield some of the largest capital gains that humanity has ever seen.

Creating a net-zero carbon economy is no longer out of reach or expensive. Massive innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and other enabling technologies have set us on a trajectory to achieve full-scale decarbonization.

Resilient Homes are Becoming an Increasingly Important Issue

In this webinar, Neil Freidberg, Building Science Manager at LP Building Solutions, will explain the ever-increasing need for resilient homes.

Join us August 3 at 2:00 pm EDT for an enlightening webinar, “Why building and designing homes with resilient solutions is more critical now than ever,” with expert Neil Freidberg.

City, Burbs, or Country Where Do You Belong?

If you’ve never owned a home, you may struggle with this gut-wrenching life decision.

The real key to finding your “ideal” homestead: imagine yourself happy there.

DOE Issues Model Energy Code Determinations

Here’s how new energy codes will increase energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings.

DOE has issued pre-publication Federal Register notice determining that the updated model building energy codes, the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2019, will increase energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings, respectively. 

Minnesota Adopts Provisions of 2018 Uniform Plumbing Code

The state of Minnesota has formally adopted the 2018 edition of IAPMO’s Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), with state-specific amendments, to form the 2020 Minnesota Plumbing Code

The new Minnesota code is available for purchase from the IAPMO Online Store. As Chapter 4714 of the Minnesota State Building Code, it will be enforced as law effective December 17.

The Element House: Passive Home Design

It’s lights out at this custom passive home—and that’s a very good thing.

The homeowners’ vision for this project was for a minimalist structure, built beyond the code in terms of structure, systems and performance. The goal, according to designers, was to create a home that reduced dependency on the power grid with a focus on natural and passive systems. The intended performance was to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and Net Zero Energy certification.

The Roaring Remodeling Market Continues

The remodeling sector’s record growth is being spurred not only by shifting pandemic priorities but also by much deeper, systemic market dynamics.

Since the onset of the pandemic, homeowners have scaled back living expenses and rechanneled their funds into home projects at record rates. 

Water Heater Technology Key to Electrified Houses

Sponsored Content

In this ebook, Water Heaters In Control, learn about the latest technology in water heaters and how they are an integral link to today’s electrified homes. 

An easy way to step toward energy efficiency and carbon neutral homes is to spec the most energy-efficient water heater available. Manufacturers have made great strides in bringing down the cost of water heating units, raising the energy efficiency, and simplifying the installation of these workhorse appliances. 

Weigh In on 2024 IECC, Chapter 11 IRC, and EV Charging

The 2024 IECC development process asks for proposals to include assessment of cost effectiveness and impact on builders, owners, and the energy system.

The ICC is accepting code change proposals for the development of its 2024 IECC and Chapter 11 of the IRC. As established through the Code Council’s recently released energy efficiency framework, Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate, the 2024 IECC and Chapter 11 of the IRC will be updated using the Code Council's American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standards process.

Marine Lumber Makes Inroads In Green Construction

When it comes to a wet environment, marine lumber offers a durable, environmentally safe alternative to traditional wood.

The green building industry is growing steadily as more consumers, municipalities and builders recognize the broad benefits that it provides. For consumers, what resonates most about green building is its contribution to clear air and water, and reduced exposure to toxins, according to a U.S. Green Building Council research study. 

Home Buyer’s Remorse in a White-Hot Market

Buyer’s remorse is at an all-time high. Here’s why.

The frenzied housing market is forcing buyers to make snap decisions, resulting in a large number of new homeowners second-guessing—and even regretting—their hasty purchases.  What specifically do they regret? And what can be done to avoid home buyer remorse?

How Home Service Providers Can Reach Millennial Homeowners

Here’s what environmentally conscious homeowners consider when choosing home service providers.

The millennial generation is projected to represent a dominant share of residential real estate transactions in the next few years. This generation will experience a massive wave of its cohort turning 30 years old. According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials are more likely to invest in renewable energy like solar panels or geothermal climate controls, compared with previous generations.

Webinar: Alternative Design for Domestic Water Heating

Reducing time-to-tap is the tip of the iceberg: The latest information on how to improve hot water systems in single-family and multifamily buildings.

On July 21 at 2 pm Eastern, Gary Klein, president of Gary Klein and Associates, will offer a new look at how typical residential water distribution systems can be designed to save energy and water. 

Budget 411 For Your Fixer-Upper

So you’ve bought a fixer upper. Now what? Learn how to pick your projects and set your budget to take your house to the next level.

If you’ve got the vision to look at a closed-off kitchen with Formica counters and see a sunny chef’s space filled with stainless-steel appliances, quartz counters, and tall windows, a fixer-upper may be in your future. But buyers of fixer-uppers need more than imagination—they also need cash and patience.

Boral Steel Stone Coated Roofing Tackles Efficiency and Durability

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Boral Roofing’s sophisticated roofing solution is designed to protect against the elements and reduce energy consumption, providing peace of mind for homeowners.

CR Herro, builder/owner of VISION House Seattle Cascades and VP Innovation at Meritage Homes, diligently searched for the best roofing option for his home. Herro wanted the durability of steel but had envisioned a more natural look to complement the surrounding woods.

Special Codes Edition: Action Alerts

Get involved! Check out these four Action Alerts and make a difference for the environment

1. RESNET – RESNET has one addendum currently out for review:

Addendum 58f seeks to clarify the status of Pre-Drywall Field QA reviews in total required Field QA reviews. This amendment seeks to recognize equal value in both pre-drywall field QA reviews and final field QA reviews and eliminates the current percentage-based limits that cause confusion. 

Transforming Our Future: The Carbontech Revolution

Buildings and construction account for nearly 40 percent of global CO2 emissions, a level that is wholly unsustainable. Carbontech promises to change that.

A new wave of carbon reduction technology is emerging, capable of capturing and embedding large amounts of carbon into all of the products around us, with the goal of decreasing harmful emissions and our collective environmental footprint.

A Smart Way With Water

With rainwater harvesting, an atmospheric water collector, and water-conscious appliances, fixtures, and faucets at all levels, the VISION House Seattle Cascades will lower the bar exponentially on water usage.

How do you access water on an off-grid housing site? You capture rainwater and also create it out of thin air. How do you manage that water? You harness innovative technology. This is C.R. Herro’s strategy for ensuring there is a reliable source of well-managed potable water at his home, the VISION House Seattle Cascades.

Vehicle-to-Grid Ready for Prime Time

As the growth rate for the electric vehicle market rises, vehicle-to-grid technology is enhancing storage capacity and power reliability.

The end of the gas-guzzling internal combustion engine is in sight: Experts predict that economies of scale will bring down the cost of batteries to allow electric vehicles (EVs) to reach price parity with gas-powered vehicles by 2024.

Garbage Overflows in Communities from Coast to Coast

With COVID impacting public services, trash has piled up in streets, waterways, and open spaces in neighborhoods across the country.

Consumers are responding to the shocking increase in unsightly litter by demanding that manufacturers take more responsibility for the waste associated with their products.

On the Minds of Millennials

Green Builder Media’s recent survey of hundreds of millennials provides groundbreaking insights into their home buying choices and behavioral patterns. What does this audience segment really want?

According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s market intelligence service, millennials (generally, persons who are aged 25 to 40) are feeling bullish about buying homes, identifying homeownership with economic security and a desirable lifestyle. Spurred by a growing desire for financial independence, this audience segment recognizes the value of investing in an appreciable asset that can create long-term financial wealth and stability.

Researchers Modify Wood to Generate Low-Voltage Electricity

Scientists are closing in on a way to turn a home’s wooden frame into a power source.

Green energy is currently generated from several sources: solar, wind and water. You may soon be able to add trees to that list. Scientists at Swiss research institutes ETH Zurich and Empa have biologically modified balsa wood and made it more compressible, turning it into a mini-​generator. When compressed and decompressed about 600 times, a 1.5-centimeter block generates an electrical voltage strong enough to power a biosensor. 

Inside Out: Outdoor Living Space Trends

Homeowners have enhanced their outdoor living areas at record rates during COVID-19. Expect that trend to continue.

The pandemic has forced consumers to cut back on discretionary activities such as dining out, recreation and travel, and spend more time at home. As a result, for many people it’s been the perfect time to tackle home improvement projects that they’ve eyed for months, if not years.

It’s Time to Hasten the Demise of Natural Gas

New research finds rising levels of methane from gas production. The Texas freeze burned away the myth that gas offers better resilience than renewable backup systems.

For decades, we’ve heard about the benefits of heating our homes and water with natural gas. We’ve been told that it’s a “clean fuel,” with polite silence about messy extraction processes like fracking, as well as leaking distribution pipes. We’ve been sold on the superiority of gas cooktops and told how much “cheaper” it is to heat our homes and water with gas than with electricity. 

Webinar: Building for a Hostile Planet

On July 14, Green Builder's Editor-in-Chief Matt Power gets into specific details about what we need to build (and rebuild) homes for resiliency. 

Extreme heat. Wildfire Smoke. Monster storms. Deep Freeze in the South. Climate Change has become an existential threat. We need to build and rebuild our homes now, to function as if we live on an alien planet. But what does that mean in terms of building science? More insulation? Solar panels and backup batteries? Metal roofs? Smart sensors and controls? All of the above.

Making It Theirs

Housing 2.0 participants have quickly grasped the hands-on information aspect of the program and optimized their home designs in a charrette-type format. Read how the program is going and secure your spot for new workshops forming for fall.

As the Program Manager for the Housing 2.0 program hosted by Green Builder Media and led by Sam Rashkin, I’m afforded a front row seat for some fascinating discussions involving very smart, forward-thinking building professionals. All of these discussions are under the guise of what the residential construction industry will look like in the next decade. 

Extended Warranties. Yes or No?

Should you buy an extended warranty on new appliances? The answer depends on the initial price—and your personality.

Sometimes, you need to spend money to save money. But sometimes you don’t. When you’re buying or building your first home, and conscientiously choosing appliances that are environmentally friendly and fit your budget, you may be flummoxed when a salesperson pushes you to add an extended warranty to your bill.

To Resist Wildfire, Stop the Intruder at the Door

Californians have braced for another year of runaway wildfires, but this time, they’re better informed and better prepared.

Randall and Jill Hauser are often told they’re “lucky” because their home remained standing after the rest of their neighborhood was obliterated by the 2018 Carr Fire in California. Randall, CEO and founder of ENPLAN, an environmental and geospatial technologies consulting firm who designed the couple’s home, says it was more than luck that kept their home from joining the 12 closest homes as a pile of rubble and ash.

Watch: Nudura's ICFs Fend Off the Elements

Sponsored Content

With the many issues affecting the building industry, insulated concrete forms create an efficient and durable alternative to conventional framing.

Nudura's Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) were chosen for the structural wall system at the off-grid VISION House Seattle Cascades because of their ease of installation, energy efficiency, and resiliency.

AirBnb Has a Climate Change Problem

Transient visitors can use three to five times more resources than full-time residents. Now multiply that times 292 million guests per year.

Have you ever been in a relationship where the person you thought you knew turns out to be someone completely different? Did your demure, sweater-clad Midwestern girlfriend turn out to have a meth addiction and a secret desire to test-fire a Taser at you? Did Mr. Right turn abusive, steal your bank account, and donate his life savings to QAnon?

Webinar: How to Build Cost Effective, Energy-Efficient Affordable Housing

On June 23, Mike Steffen, AIA, Director of Innovation of Walsh Construction, will present a webinar that addresses construction solutions for those who develop and operate affordable housing. This event is part of the Housing 2.0 program

“Tree Talk” Webinar Addresses How Sustainability Can Be Affordable

RESNET, NEHERS, and One Tree Pledge host sustainability webinar on June 16.

Can a commitment to sustainability be affordable? Register for this webinar to find out!

New Outdoor Living Guide Released

The fresh outdoors is waiting! This aspirational collection of outdoor living space ideas, projects, and trends will inspire you to do more with the environment around your home.

There’s no doubt that the cooped up nature of the pandemic spawned renewed interest in creating livable spaces at home, but don’t think that trend will stop as the country continues to open up.

New Dawn for Solar

The Biden Administration has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. How do we get there? Hint: full-scale clean energy adoption and electrification.

Decarbonizing our nation by 2050 is going to take some heavy lifting.  Fortunately, we have a roadmap to get there, which includes initiatives like:

Windows Seal the High-Performance Deal

Sponsored Content

This video highlights Western Window Systems’ important contribution to the VISION House Seattle Cascade’s high-performance envelope.

The VISION House Seattle Cascades team is just finishing up the Nudura ICF and Premier SIP envelope of the off-grid home. Now it’s time to get serious about the dry-in stage with the installation of super-high-performance windows. 

Brynn Furey on the Importance of Electrification

Green Builder sat down with this 23-year-old energy conservation and efficiency associate to explore her work in Environment America’s greater goal of 100 percent renewable energy.

Looking back on her childhood surrounded by southern Florida's flourishing wildlife, Brynn Furey remembers encountering birds, lizards, and marine life during her daily activities. She specifically recalls a rare freezing event, where her mom searched their neighborhood, saving as many iguanas as possible, and created a makeshift animal sanctuary in their living room. 

Real-World Zero Net Energy Homes

A new book based on a report to the California Energy Commission is a treasure trove of information about net zero building for builders and developers.

Interested in building zero net energy (ZNE) homes? This book is for you. Real-World Zero Net Energy Homes for California by Lew Harriman offers principles and practices described that can be applied to all types of market-rate ZNE homes at a variety of price points.  

The Electric Air Handler is Back

Popular in the 1960s, split system air handlers had drawbacks that caused them to fall out of favor. New models operate quietly and reliably and fit squarely into the post-fossil fuel future.

The dream of the all-electric house pops up several times in the literature of post-World War II manufacturing. Long before we at Green Builder constructed our VISION House at Epcot Center for Disney, Monsanto took a whack at the idea in 1957, with a plastic house prototype made almost entirely of plastic, with “complete climate control.”

Hot 50 Product Standout: Ventilation With a Hack

Watch this video and learn how the Broan-NuTone AI Series fresh air system solves a vexing problem for builders.

Broan-NuTone’s new AI Series of residential fresh air systems, combined with the company’s new VIRTUO Air Technology, eliminates key headaches plaguing contractors as they’ve tried to go about their business during the pandemic. 

A Permanent State of Drought

Despite a reasonable amount of precipitation in the winter and early spring, much of the western half of the U.S. is facing increasingly urgent drought conditions. 

The lack of access to water is having a major impact on community development, driving up water tap fees by a mind-blowing 400 percent in some markets.  Fortunately, innovative technologies like greywater systems are helping to lessen the blow.

Structural Insulating Panels Outperform Conventional Framing Systems

SIPs were chosen as the structural roofing system for the VISION House Seattle Cascades to enhance efficiency, solve for labor challenges, and mitigate soaring lumber costs.

Green Builder Media and CR Herro, VP Innovation at Meritage Homes, selected Premier Building Systems Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) as the structural roof system for the VISION House Seattle Cascades to help the off-grid home achieve its net zero target, address labor shortages, mitigate out-of-control labor prices, and reduce jobsite waste.

Ford’s All-Electric F-150: Faster Than a Raptor. Less Polluting Than a Prius.

Due to hit the streets (and job sites) in 2022, Ford’s electrified F-150 Lightning pickup truck offers a step away from fossil fuels, into a sleek, powerful “Swiss Army Knife” for work and play.

You’d have to have sworn an oath of poverty not to want one of these trucks. And even then, you might break your vow.

8 Most Common Electrical Hazards on Job Sites

For Building Safety Month, here’s some advice on electrical safety for non-electrical contractors.

Electrical safety awareness isn’t just for electricians. In fact, non-electrical workers actually run the largest exposure to electrical hazards. Without the electrical training that licensed electrical professionals receive, one careless mistake can turn into a big accident—or worse. 

Broan-NuTone: Clearing the Air for the Whole Home

Sponsored Content

Is Your Health at Risk Without You Even Knowing It?

It’s no understatement that we spend far more time indoors than we do outside. The EPA estimates people spend 90% of their time indoors, even prior to Covid-19 forcing many of us inside. What most people are unfamiliar with are the risks associated with spending so much time indoors due to the stark difference between natural outdoor air quality and the poor indoor air quality of most homes. On average indoor air quality (IAQ) is up to five times worse than outdoor air quality due to improper ventilation and the continuous pollution of the air through various sources such as gas cooking appliances, mold & mildew from moisture build up, as well as dust and particulate matter brought in from outside. Poor IAQ can lead to health conditions spanning from allergic reactions all the way to respiratory illnesses and even cancers from prolonged exposure to poor air quality. 

Green Builder Brand Index 2021

From familiar to new, here are the sustainability products our readers are talking about most.

As we start to head into the high season for construction, what are the things our readers can’t go without? That question is answered in our newest Green Builder Brand Index, which gauges builders’ likes and dislikes about products in the green construction market, from the best energy-saving appliances to the cars they like to drive on the job.

Are Toxic Cooking Fumes Making You Feel Dead Inside? Here’s the Cure.

Your cooking may be hazardous to your health – and not because you’re a bad chef. Find out how your cooking habits could be harming you.

Did you know that every time you cook a veggie burger in your unventilated kitchen, you’re inhaling fine particulate matter, ultrafine particles, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons? That’s quite a mouthful to swallow along with your impossible burger. 

Tips to Help Prepare Construction Sites for Hurricanes

Disasters can strike at any time on a construction site. Here’s how you can be ready.

In August 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall, traveling through the Gulf Coast and matched the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana. This resulted in significant damage to homes and buildings, and left nearly a million people without power.

Hot 50 Products Highlight: 5 Innovative Appliances

This year’s Hot 50 product winners, picked by Green Builder’s editors, include innovative new options in the appliance category.

Beko Upright Freezers

The events of the past year make adding a second freezer to the household seem like a no-brainer. But a drastic increase in the monthly electric bill might change a consumer’s mind. Beko’s line of upright freezers, such as the BUFR2715 (shown), are ultra-energy efficient and boy, do they keep things cold. The company’s Freeze Guard Technology works in ambient temperatures of 5 degrees to 109 degrees Fahrenheit without any loss of performance. 

Calling All Eco-Leaders!

Here is your chance to tell your company’s environmental success story.

Corporations across the globe are stepping up to be part of the solution in the quest to mitigate climate change, setting ambitious targets to reduce their environmental footprint and carbon emissions. Is your organization part of this pioneering group of Eco-Leaders?

What Is Smart Home Technology?

In the present world, there should be no denying that people will need to be environmentally friendly as a species. Going green and utilizing sustainable things is great for the environment, and it may help ensure the wellbeing of Earth. Many men and women care about the environment and would like to do their job to make matters better.

Smart houses are amazingly the latest frontier for green living. Throughout the past couple of decades, a lot of individuals have equated smart houses with technological elegance and relaxation. This is changing quickly, people begin beating the ways which you may create your smart house more sustainable.

One of the very best ways which you could accomplish so is by considering a number of the distinct smart home products which are available now. Let us take a look at a few of the ways an intelligent house can be ecofriendly.

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