Since ground broke on the Start.Home, the students who are designing and building the Stanford University entry in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon have been learning their way around the construction site from five Carpenters Union instructors. CU is a Platinum-level project sponsor, joining other companies like DIRECTV, Intel, General Electric, Applied Materials, Boxh, Pine Cone Lumber, and Mitsubishi in an effort to change the way that green home building construction problems are solved.
Built with recycled and salvaged materials from a dilapidated and deconstructed cottage that was already present on the 0.35 acre lot, the west side of this 2,000 square foot home faces Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. Sweeping views of the lake are broken only by a granite fireplace.
Following the original footprint of the cottage, with the addition of 375 square feet on the east side, Ernie Ruskey, AIA, of Tektonika Studio Architects worked with builder Tim Frost to minimize energy use during the cold winter months while protecting the landscape. They have achieve a 50 percent total energy savings over a 2004 IECC code-level home, an EPA Energy Star 5-Star Plus rating, and a HERS rating of 57. Ninety-five percent of the home is daylit and can be ventilated or cooled with operable windows. Total energy used is approximately 104.2 MMBtu.
Kaplan Thompson Architects were challenged by their clients to build a farmstead home in the mountains of Virginia that could not only meet standards for Passivhaus and LEED, but include a roof on which sheep could graze.
The solution: Earthship Farmstead is a house that is nestled in the east-facing hillside with a floorplan that fits the contours of the surrounding fields. The dining and living room extend out onto the hill to allow south-facing shaded windows to capture warmth and light from the sun. Recently, Earthship Farmstead received Passive House certification and is gathering data toward LEED Platinum certification.
The new, sustainably built, 15,205 square foot structure for the Jungers Culinary Institute on the Central Oregon Community College (COCC) campus, designed by Yost Grube Hall Architecture, was made possible by $3 million in grants and contributions from the Bend, Oregon community, for which students serve lunch, happy hour, and dinner in the 60-seat public restaurant, Elevation, alongside a three instructional kitchens that include a baking and pastry kitchen, a fifty-seat demonstration theatre, and classroom space for up to 100 students per year.
Since 1995, Bill and his wife, Sue, had been designing and building homes as Blue Sky Ventures and, in 2011, they began constructing little buildings with reclaimed materials and decided to shift focus with Hobbitat when they began work on thirteen cabins for the Blue Moon Rising eco-tourism retreat on Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake.
Earlier this year, the World Record Academy awarded a home in Dillingham, Alaska with the record for the Tightest Residential Building.
In a video that documents the blower door test, the home’s owners and residents, Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donalson, who designed and built the extremely insulated building, explain their motivation to push the limits of green building methods. The blower door test, which used a special attachment to get the most accurate reading, pressurized the building and then measured the flow that was needed to maintain the difference in pressure from the outside.