The First Passive House in Salt Lake City

This will be the first certified Passive House in the city limits of Salt Lake City (not to take anything away from the Breezeway House located outside the city in Salt Lake County), if certification by PHIUS goes as planned. I visited the home on a nice sunny day a couple weeks ago, but the photos of this beginning photographer didn’t turn out as I’d originally expected.* That said, I hope you can get a feeling for the contemporary design and some of the materials and technology that went into this ultra-efficient home.

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By |September 27th, 2012|Passive House, Single Family|12 Comments

Energy Efficiency is Critical in Home Design

The housing market is “starting to gain traction,” according to AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, although people aren’t rushing to add home theaters and the like.

Rather, “home features and products attracting attention are generally focused on energy efficiency or accessibility around the home, as well as wireless systems and low-maintenance, sustainable products,” per Mr. Baker based on findings from the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey in the second quarter of 2012.
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By |September 26th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, News|0 Comments

Not So Big Timber Frame Home in Oregon

This is an 800-square-foot home in the River Road area in north Eugene. It was designed by Nir Pearlson and built by Six Degrees Construction for owners Rob Handy and Julie Hulme, who were inspired by The Not So Big House and other books by Sarah Susanka, FAIA. It turns out the owners upsized their situation by deconstructing an existing 620-square foot house built several decades ago, according to The Register-Guard.

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By |September 18th, 2012|Conservation, Single Family|5 Comments

LIFX is a WiFi-Enabled Smart LED Bulb

I’ve seen innovation in the smart LED space from the likes of Google and Insteon, but San Francisco-based LIFX Labs aims to reinvent the light bulb with a new, successfully-funded Kickstarter project called LIFX. The LED bulb is WiFi-enabled, energy-efficient, multi-colored, and controllable from an iPhone or Android. It will be available as Edison-type, bayonet cap, or downlight with everything necessary to work at home or in a business with a pledge from $69 on Kickstarter.

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By |September 17th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|0 Comments

New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter.  The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand).  In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.

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By |September 12th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|14 Comments

LED Downlights: CR6-575L vs. CR6-800L

Although the new, four-inch CR4-575L is available at Home Depot, the updated, six-inch CR6 is not at this time.  So, as Doug pointed out in our comments, it may be worthwhile to post a comparison of the existing CR6-575L with the updated CR6-800L.  Before doing that, note the new CR4-575L has similar specs to the existing CR6-575L with the main difference being one is made for a 4″ housing and the other is for a 6″ housing.  Here’s a head-to-head of the popular six-inch CR6 downlights.

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By |September 11th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|4 Comments