K-tect Panels for Energy-Efficient Homes

K-tect Sustainable Building Systems makes a wall system that the company calls the “newest generation of structural insulated panels.”  Although not a sandwich panel, the system is kind of like rSTUD but different and more comprehensive.  K-tect includes a light-gauge, metal-stud frame with insulation in a thermally broken assembly (see below) that improves thermal efficiency and controls noise.

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By |August 26th, 2011|Categories: Energy Efficiency, Materials|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

LEED Platinum Sungazing Home in Utah

I like visiting new green homes like this one, the Sungazing House in Park City, Utah.  I wrote about the home one year ago today and used some informal photos to create a short video embedded above.  Since my initial tour, the net-zero, LEED Platinum project has been featured all over the world in such places as Green Builder Magazine and EcoHome Magazine. 

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By |August 25th, 2011|Categories: Single Family, video|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Tiny Bungalows Unveiled by Tumbleweed

The tiny house movement is just blowing up, and we’ve seen growing interest in our tiny house archives in recent months.  This week, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, seller of tiny houses such as the Popomo, as well as books and plans, recently announced the launch of a new book — Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses — and several new Box Bungalow plans under 110 square feet.  The plans sell for roughly $50 and the kits can be had for about $12,000 – $15,000.  If you’re interested in ADUs, backyard cottages, and tiny homes, we have a list of the new stuff from Tumbleweed below.

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By |August 25th, 2011|Categories: Projects|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

19 Solar Decathlon Homes for 2011

The biennial Solar Decathlon is coming up next month with teams preparing their solar-powered homes for West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. The competition will showcase modern, energy-efficient homes from 19 teams from September 23 – October 2, 2011. We’ve taken a look at the architectural models for each home and continue our coverage this year with a look at the renderings.  There’s some great work here.  Any predictions?  Which team will take it all?

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By |August 24th, 2011|Categories: List, Solar|Tags: , |3 Comments

Sunverge Powers a Net-Zero LEED Project

Sunverge has released a new Solar Integration System (SIS) package containing an inverter and battery storage unit to complement the standard residential solar PV array.  Brought to the market in February 2011, this new offering will give homeowners the opportunity to attain reliable net-zero energy status and eliminate reliance on the grid.

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By |August 22nd, 2011|Categories: LEED, Solar|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How Solar Hot Water Works [Video]

On average, about 18% of home energy consumption is for water heating, the second largest consumer behind space heating.  The primary technology used to do this is the tank-type water heater (both gas- and electric-powered), but solar water heating can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water. 

Solar hot water systems vary, and one system we’ve mentioned previously is a passive-pump system by Virginia-based Sunnovations.  This video explains it.

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By |August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Solar, video|Tags: , , , |5 Comments
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