2007 New American Home Goes Green in a Big Way

[Email/RSS - Click to View Images] Every year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) sponsors a home project and industry experts team up to create a demonstration home with the newest technologies and products.  This year’s New American Home was unveiled at the 2007 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Florida last month.  The 2007 New American Home is a 3-story, 4,707 sf urban loft home with a roof plaza.  There’s also a first floor terrace, pool, and a 576 sf suite with the two-car garage.  Designed by BSB Design, the New American Home has a distinct look.  The mission of the home was to illustrate that housing performance can be incorporated into the most simple or complex homes without sacrificing aesthetics.  And as it turns out, housing performance = green home. 

Green Features:
The New American Home is a standout in green achievement: it’s designed with universal design compliance, designated to be Energy Star certified, and certified green by the Florida Green Building Coalition.  The home includes a 2.4 kw solar photovoltaic system; pre-cast, insulated structural concrete wall system; impact resistant, low-emissivity windows; residential automation and home control for all low-voltage systems; air conditioning systems between 15 + 17.8 SEER; four-foot overhangs over most of the south- and west-facing windows; and natural gas instantaneous water heaters.  Nice. 

So you’re saying, "Yeah but, this house is freakin’ huge!"  Yes it is.  It’s huge with Cribs-type amenities such as automated, built-in home theaters, an elevator, and a state-of-the-art security system. It’s a model home with tons of green features.  More precisely, it uses 73 percent less energy for heating and cooling and 54 percent less energy for water heating, compared to a comparable house in a similar climate.  For whatever reason, people build houses this big, so if you’re gonna go big, you might as well go green and energy efficient, too. 


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  • Jay Draiman

    MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY – THE ENERGY EVOLUTION –R13

    In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy Sources must change.
    “Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. “Let’s face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy.” The American way of life is not negotiable.
    Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

    The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, retrofits etc. The source of energy must be by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, Ocean-Tidal, Hydrogen-Fuel Cell etc. This includes the utilizing of water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption. (Sales tax on renewable energy products and energy efficiency should be reduced or eliminated)

    The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy. (This can be done by amending building code)

    In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer at market price), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

    A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task. As an inducement to buy hybrid automobiles (sales tax should be reduced or eliminated on American manufactured automobiles).

    This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (This will also create a substantial amount of new jobs). It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors’ commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) (rainwater harvesting, water conservation) (energy and natural resources conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

    “To succeed, you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”

    Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
    Northridge, CA. 91325
    Mar. 21, 2007

    P.S. I have a very deep belief in America’s capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
    I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis–the one in 1942–President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
    “the way we produce and use energy must fundamentally change.”
    The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

    The Oil Companies should be required to invest a substantial percentage of their profit in renewable energy R&D and implementation. Those who do not will be panelized by the public at large by boy cutting their products.

    Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs) the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

    Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X’s 5 hrs per day X’s 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 2

    4 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

    Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence. (Installation should be paid “performance based”).

    Installation of renewable energy and its performance should be paid to the installer and manufacturer based on “performance based” (that means they are held accountable for the performance of the product – that includes the automobile industry). This will gain the trust and confidence of the end-user to proceed with such a project; it will also prove to the public that it is a viable avenue of energy conservation.

    Installing a renewable energy system on your home or business increases the value of the property and provides a marketing advantage. It also decreases our trade deficit.

    Nations of the world should unite and join together in a cohesive effort to develop and implement MANDATORY RENEWABLE ENERGY for the sake of humankind and future generations.
    The head of the U.S. government’s renewable energy lab said Monday (Feb. 5) that the federal government is doing “embarrassingly few things” to foster renewable energy, leaving leadership to the states at a time of opportunity to change the nation’s energy future. “I see little happening at the federal level. Much more needs to happen.” What’s needed, he said, is a change of our national mind set. Instead of viewing the hurdles that still face renewable sources and setting national energy goals with those hurdles in mind, we should set ambitious national renewable energy goals and set about overcoming the hurdles to meet them. We have an opportunity, an opportunity we can take advantage of or an opportunity we can squander and let go,”
    solar energy – the direct conversion of sunlight with solar cells, either into electricity or hydrogen, faces cost hurdles independent of their intrinsic efficiency. Ways must be found to lower production costs and design better conversion and storage systems.
    FEDERAL BUILDINGS WITH SOLAR ENERGY – Renewable Energy
    All government buildings, Federal, State, County, City etc. should be mandated to be energy efficient and must use renewable energy on all new structures and structures that are been remodeled/upgraded.
    “The goverment should serve as an example to its citizens”

    Jay Draiman, Energy Consultant
    Northridge, CA 91325
    Email: [email protected]

  • http://www.planetrelations.com Planet Relations

    It’s a ridiculous attention-getting stunt to build a 4700 sq ft green home. Any organization (especially NAHB) can build a token green ‘anything’. The operative question is how to build a 2000 sq ft home that uses green building materials, saves energy, and is competitive on a cost/sq ft basis so it can be replicated by production home builders.

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com preston

    Well put Planet Relations.

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  • http://www.usgaselectric.com YJ Draiman

    Homeowners can cut energy bills by making their houses more energy-efficient R2
    HOMEOWNERS can practically hear the meters ticking as their air conditioners fight this summer’s sweltering heat.
    But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things they can do to ward off high energy bills now–and once winter sweeps in.
    Just ask THE ENERGY EXPERT, who conducts residential energy audits as National Energy Efficiency Auditor.
    “The most common problem is air infiltration,” he said, “where unconditioned air meets conditioned air.”
    THE ENERGY EXPERT, who uses smoke pencils to detect leaks and infrared scans to check insulation, windows, attics and roofs, said poorly insulated “room additions” over garages top the list of energy wasters.
    “Builders don’t always sheathe the back side of the drywall in insulation, so hot attic air infiltrates the room,” he said. “There’s only one piece of drywall keeping the hot air out.”
    THE ENERGY Experts’ solution is to install energy-efficient foam board with an aluminum-foil backing behind the drywall. A recent job cost about $300 and or insulation and attic fans in the attic – there is also a rebate and tax credits (check with your local utility). (Insulation in the attic and attic fans reduce energy consumption substantially).
    “It pays for itself in one season,” THE ENERGY EXPERT said.
    Homeowners typically spend about $1,600 a year to heat and cool the house, turn lights on and off, and operate appliances, said spokeswoman for the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.
    But they can cut those expenses by as much as $600 by switching to more energy-efficient products and taking a variety of other energy-saving steps.
    Those can be as simple as replacing a 15- to 20-year-old refrigerator with a new Energy Star model, which uses about a fourth as much electricity as an older appliance, and/or putting compact florescent bulbs or LED bulbs in at least the five most commonly used light fixtures in the house. You should also replace burned out motors/compressors with energy efficient multi-stage motors.
    “Compact fluorescents cost more up front, but you really make it up because they use somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the energy required for an incandescent and they last 10 times longer,” the Energy Expert said. “Plus, they don’t burn as hot, so they don’t heat up the place during the summer and your air conditioner has to work less hard.”
    A good place for homeowners to start in determining how their energy usage stacks up is to log on to the Home Energy Saver at homeenergysaver.lbl.gov.
    Developed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, this site calculates energy use and savings tips based on information that users provide. Type in a ZIP code and up pop the energy costs of an average home and an energy-efficient home for that area.
    The program also includes a questionnaire that asks for more detailed information so it can provide a customized answer. It also has links to sites that provide a wealth of information about its energy-saving recommendations.
    On various utility companies Web sites, shoppers can order a similarly helpful gizmo called Watts Up? Plug in any standard 120-volt appliance or electronic device, and it will analyze such things as current draw, incoming voltage and cost of operation. The Watts Up? Basic model costs $89.95 and the pro version costs $123.95.
    Rather leave audits to professionals?
    Some auditors offer a standard audit for $100 that includes a visual inspection of the house and its heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. An expanded audit, which costs $200, includes tests to check for leaks in air ducts and the house’s air-tightness.
    Your local utility company may do audits, also has a list of providers on its Web site.
    Low-income homeowners can get help for free through the Aging weatherization assistance program.
    “We go into the house and do various tests to find problem areas,” said the Energy Consultant. “What we do in most cases is make minor repairs and blow in insulation.”
    Last fiscal year, many families got help through the federally funded program.
    Sometimes, however, the most effective ways to trim energy usage are the easiest, the Energy Expert said.
    Putting up weather-stripping, for example, is something anyone can do yet many people overlook, he said. The same goes for changing a heating system’s air filters on a regular basis or a set-back thermostat.
    The Energy Expert also recommended installing ceiling fans and programmable electronic thermostats. A fan can make a room feel cooler so the air conditioning can be turned up, and a programmable thermostat automatically lowers the heat setting while homeowners are at work and raises it just before they return.
    The Energy Expert has also learned that putting the screens/shades on the south-facing windows of the house in the summer will help block out some of the sun’s fierce heat. In some states especially the western parts of the United States temperature at night falls to 50-60 degrees – open the windows and shut the air-condition and or utilize a fan to bring in the fresh cooler air – it is also healthier and reduces indoor pollution. In areas of the country that have a high humidity – you can install a dehumidifier in the summer to reduce energy cost and a humidifier in the winter.
    “I take the screens and or shades off in the winter,” The Energy Expert said.
    Increasing a house’s energy efficiency not only lowers the owner’s bills, it also raises the value of the property. According to an EPA-funded study done in 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, a house’s value jumps $10 to $25 for every $1 the owner is able to save on annual fuel/energy bills. You can also utilize rainwater and grey water to reduce your water and sewer bill. Some utility companies will allow you to install a sub-meter for the water used for landscaping, swimming pools and ponds – which eliminates the sewer charge from that portion of your water bill.
    “You’ll get a better price because you can show them your heating and cooling bills, which are reasonable and not outrageous,” said The Energy Expert, national energy-management coordinator.
    The Energy Expert oversees many Energy Saver Home programs, which inspects houses as they’re being built to insure they’re properly insulated and sealed. The inspections cost $250 and come with a year-long warranty. For an added service The Energy Expert will perform a site inspection for the installation of Solar/Photovoltaic system for the home and/or business and its benefits, costs, rebates, tax credits, financing and ROI.
    Prospective buyers of energy-efficient houses can get a break, too.
    “Some mortgage companies will allow you a better debt-to-income ratio,” The Energy Expert said. “They know your electric/gas utility bills will be less so you’ll have more income to put toward your mortgage.”
    YJ Draiman – Energy Savers 6/29/2007 – [email protected]

  • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

    You can view some flickr photos of the home, too.

  • http://www.energysavers2.com Jay Draiman, Energy Analyst

    Our war for energy independence and economic sustainability

    The US government and other governments are not serious about energy efficiency and renewable energy development and implementation – they are too busy playing politics and capitulating to the Oil Companies.
    IT is time to get series to avert an economic catastrophe – I hope it is not too late
    The world needs to invest $50 trillion in energy in coming decades, building some 1,400 nuclear power plants and vastly expanding wind power, solar power, geothermal energy in order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to an energy study released Friday.
    The report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency envisions an “energy revolution” that would greatly reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels while maintaining steady economic growth.
    “Meeting this target of 50 percent cut in emissions and replacing fossil fuel represents a formidable challenge, and we would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale,” IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said.
    The scenario for deeper cuts would require massive investment in energy technology development and deployment, a wide-ranging campaign to dramatically increase energy efficiency, and a wholesale shift to renewable sources of energy.
    Assuming an average 3.4 percent global economic growth over the 2010-2050 period, governments and the private sector would have to make additional investments of $50 trillion in energy, or 1.2 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, the report said.
    That would be an investment more than three times the current size of the entire U.S. economy.
    In addition, the world would have to construct 38 new nuclear power plants each year, and wind-power turbines would have to be increased by 18,000 units annually, solar energy output would have to be increased 20 fold every year.
    Let us not forget as we are increasing the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency – the world population is increasing – the demand for energy by advancement in technology worldwide is also increasing. We have to take these factors into account.
    Oil is going to hit at least $200 per barrel, gasoline at the pump will hit $6 or more per gallon, in some countries it is already $10 per gallon.
    Most of the money would be in the commercialization of energy technologies developed by governments and the private sector.
    “If industry is convinced there will be policy for serious, actions for accelerated development of renewable energy and efficiency, then these investments will be made by the private sector.”
    People are hurting financially and economically, this must end, we should strive for a thriving economy with new technology for renewable energy and efficiency.
    We have the technology and knowhow let us stop playing politics – unite our people and our nation in a common goal to avert an economic disaster and maintain our quality of life for generations to come.
    Let us serve as an example to the rest of the world.
    Jay Draiman, Energy Analyst – June 8, 2008

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  • http://www.renewableenergy2.com YJ Draiman

    A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed. R3
    A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed.
    To accelerate the implementation of renewable electric generation with added incentives and a FASTER PAYBACK – ROI. (A method of storing energy, would accelerate the use of renewable energy) A greater tax credit, accelerated depreciation, funding scientific research and pay as you save utility billing. (Reduce and or eliminates the tax on implementing energy efficiency, eliminate increase in Real estate Taxes for energy efficiency improvement). Tax incentive and rebates have to be tripled.
    In California, you also have the impediment, that when there are an interruption of power supply by the Utility you the consumer cannot use your renewable energy system to provide power.
    In today’s technology there is automatic switching equipment that would disconnect the consumer from the grid, which would permit renewable generation for the consumer even during power interruption. Energy storage technology must advance substantially. ?Energy conservation through energy storage?.
    New competition for the world’s limited oil and natural gas supplies is increasing global demand like never before. Reserves are dwindling. These and other factors are forcing energy prices to skyrocket here at home. It’s affecting not just the fuel for our cars and homes, it is affecting food prices and it’s driving up electricity costs, too. A new world is emerging. The energy decisions our nation makes today will have huge implications into the next century. We must expedite the implementation of renewable energy.
    A synchronous system with batteries allows the blending of a PV with grid power, but also offers the advantage of ?islanding? in case of a power failure. A synchronous system automatically disconnects the utility power from the house and operates like an off-grid home during power failures. This system, however, is more costly and loses some of the efficiency advantages of a battery-less system.
    We?re surrounded by energy ? sun, wind, water. The problem is harnessing it in an economical way.
    YJ Draiman, Northridge, CA
    October 5, 2008

    YJ Draiman Energy Development Specialist provides expertise in all sectors of the energy and utility industry.
    Over 20 years experience. Specializing in: Energy Audit, Telecom audit, Utility bills audit and review for refunds or better rates, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency review and implementation, Renewable Energy, Lighting Retrofit, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Fuel-Cell, Thermal imaging, Rainwater harvesting, Energy conservation, Ice Storage, Water conservation methods, Energy and telecom audit and procurement.
    “Paying for utility costs without using a Utility Auditor and Monitor is like driving a car at night with the lights turned off”
    Much is at stake when policy makers, regulators, and corporate executives face the challenges of evolving energy markets and efficiency.

    http://www.energysavers2.com

  • http://renewableenergy2.com YJ Draiman

    You must serve as an example in implementing energy efficiency.

    I think if corporate America is serious about energy conservation; it must start with people at the top and roll down from there to the rest of the executives and employees.

    In order to accomplish such an important mission as energy conservation every executive and employee has to believe that what he is doing is the right thing.

    They must practice the same attitude at home and implement energy conservation at home. This attitude will carry on to the workplace.

    First thing that must be done is, each employee should be asked what has he/she done in their own lives to conserve energy, and than if the answer is positive advance the initiative from there, if not an education process must be implemented to drive the process home once this process has been achieved, it will be easier to get everyone to participate in energy conservation.

    The motive and behavior has to come from within each individual person – it must become part of a routine practice – it must become a way of life – reducing waste in any form.

    In today’s rising cost of energy – conservation must become a national theme.

    YJ Draiman, Energy Analyst

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