Articles - June, 2011

ZETA Fabricates Homes for NZE Project

California-based ZETA Communities recently announced a new project worth noting.  It’s an affordable, net-zero energy community with 22 starter homes in Stockton, California called Tierra del Sol.  ZETA says the homes are being built in Sacramento in an off-site fabrication process that results in higher quality, faster construction, lower first costs, and lower operating costs.

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Water Legacy Helps with Greywater Reuse

Consumers are turning to greywater systems to reduce their potable water consumption as a result of growing interest in water savings and concerns over the long-term effects of droughts or water price increase.  Over the past few years we’ve seen great efficiencies in flush and flow fixtures, as well as bathroom systems; however, to keep cutting demand, forward thinking projects are moving towards greywater reuse.  One system on the market is by a company called Water Legacy.

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How to Reduce Exposure to Formaldehyde

Although formaldehyde is now listed as a known carcinogen by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, humans will be exposed to this substance in the environment, at home, and in the workplace.  It’s in soil, food, and water, not to mention one of the primary methods of exposure: indoor and outdoor air.  And besides being a carcinogen, health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and coughing; fatigue; skin rash; and severe allergic reactions, according to the EPA.

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125 Haus to Showcase Next Gen Housing

125 Haus is a home under construction that could become a model for next-gen housing that’s extremely energy and cost efficient.  Architect and owner Jörg Rügemer* expects this to be Utah’s most energy-efficient and cost-effective house, which is saying a lot given the fact that the Breezeway House obtained Passive House certification on a budget.  When complete, 125 Haus will have three bedrooms, a studio, and 2,400 square feet with an expected construction cost of $118 per square foot.

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New HHS Cancer List includes Styrene, Formaldehyde, and Glass Wool Fibers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added eight substances to its Report on Carcinogens.  The 12th Report on Carcinogens now includes a grand total of 240 listings.  HHS added formaldehyde and aristolochic acids as “known human carcinogens” and listed captafol, cobalt-tungsten carbide (in powder or hard metal form), certain inhalable glass wool fibers, o-nitrotoluene, riddelliine, and styrene as substances that are “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.

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Menlo Park Passive House Hits the Market

This new home supports the notion that a Passive House doesn’t need to look a certain way.  It turns out that a Passive House (certification pending in this case) can take on a what’s being referred to as a “mission revival style.”  Called Menlo Passive, this “Old World,” luxury home was built by California-based Clarum Homes, a builder of high performance custom homes, and is currently listed for sale at the price of $2,695,000.

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