When young Alex Finnell was challenged by his parents to design an “age in place” home for them and his 95-year old grandmother, he set about helping them to achieve their goal of living in their own home late into their retirement years while being as safe, independent, and comfortable as possible.
A couple of years ago, Michigan’s Cobblestone Homes partnered with Dow Chemical Company to collaborate on the InVision Zero house, a home that is entirely sustainable for its energy use while being affordable and attainable for many Americans.
The InVision Zero home showcased several Dow products including POWERHOUSE solar shingles, WaterFurnace geothermal heating and cooling system, walls that are filled with 5” of Dow closed-cell spray foam, one inch each of Dow Structural Insulating Sheathing (SIS) and Dow Tongue-and-Groove Styrofoam to ensure a complete thermal break, and triple-paned Paradigm windows.
The most recent collaboration between Dow and Cobblestone is the TEETH (Twelve Energy Efficient Test Homes) Project, a five-year energy efficiency study on twelve homes that have been recently built in a subdivision in Midland, Michigan.
Grand Junction Federal Courthouse May Become First Net-Zero Building on U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Recently rededicated following almost two years in construction, the 95-year old Wayne S. Aspinall Federal Building and Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado has seen the last of its transformations by the U.S. General Services Administration. Building systems performance will be measured and verified against energy targets by project architect, Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), for one year, beginning in April 2013, in hopes of achieving LEED Platinum status and becoming the National Register of Historic Places’ first net-zero-energy building.
The historic Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, California, has been working on its $300 million project to relocate from the Palace of Fine Arts to Piers 15 and 17 at the heart of the Bay Area’s waterfront Embarcadero. It is the first major development to be undertaken on the waterfront since the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark was built over a decade ago.
Vermont-based Vantem Panels, one of the United States’ first producers of SIPs (structural insulated panels) and one of three American producers of urethane panels, has released the first affordable net-zero energy kit homes: SmartHomze.
With an estimated $150 per square foot cost of construction (not including permits, site work, or foundation), SmartHomze are significantly more affordable than typical green homes that range between $200 and $250 per square foot and more in line with construction costs for an average new home that doesn’t include sustainability features.