Taking Sustainability Beyond Solar
Since the California Solar Mandate took effect in January, sustainable building practices are on everyone’s mind. We all want to do what’s best for the environment and integrating solar energy is a great way to do that; one we’ve been endorsing for years. The mandate is a positive first step toward more sustainable practices. Over the years we’ve found, when it comes to home construction, there’s so much more to sustainability than solar.
We’re seeing the cost of energy rise in a rapid way, and it’s not just in dollars. It’s important...
The 2020 Solar Mandate is here
The news has been swirling for months but the day is finally
here. Effective January 1, 2020 all new residential home builds must live up to
the standard of Zero Net Energy.
This initiative is part of California’s ongoing commitment to transition away
from centralized power. The new plan aims at having 50% of California’s
electricity come from clean energy sources by 2030 (NYT).
It’s an ambitious goal and requiring new home construction to include solar
energy is a big part of making it happen.
As the calendar year moves to 2020, builders are scrambling
Now that you know the “where,” it’s time to focus on the
“what.” We’ll help you decide.
Picking a path
Now that you have a piece of property to develop or improve, it’s time for the design phase. Choosing how to design a home can be just as important as the architect. There are two basic approaches to designing a custom home: design-build or independent architect.
You’ve likely seen this term tacked onto quite a few
residential construction companies. It implies that the firm can not only build
or remodel your house but design it as well. This usually...
How do you decide whether to build a high-performance home or a home built to code? We can help you figure it out.
Building beyond code
In California, CalGreen is the baseline building code that all new home construction must follow. In terms of energy efficiency, air quality, and sustainability, there is a lot of room for improved performance by building beyond this code. And, the cost difference is not very significant. In high-performance design and construction, everyone involved in the building process takes into account energy and water efficiency, resource efficient building design...
A LEED-certified home is a
high-performance green building designed and built to achieve the highest point
rating possible as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council.
What is LEED for homes?
LEED for Homes is a system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for
the purpose of rating and recognizing homes built to a more sustainable
standard than conventional homes built to code. LEED was originally developed
for the purpose of transforming the mainstream building industry by promoting
and encouraging best practices for environmental design and construction.
We’re here to support you in navigating the process of
building a custom home in Silicon Valley, by helping you set a course of action
and understand what potential challenges lay ahead of you.
Take the long view
Deciding to build a custom home in Silicon Valley is an
involved process. It’s important to start off on the right foot by:
the progression of a construction projectChoosing
the right team of professionals; andHaving
a clear vision of what you need from a home
Be patient with the process
Throughout this process, keep in mind that it takes time....
Did you know that Net-Zero homes generate the same energy they consume, through renewable sources like sun, wind, or water? When building a custom home, it's important to remember that the cost of the home extends far beyond the build. Over time, paying for power and utilities can add up. It makes sense at the build stage to create the most efficient house possible. That's where a Net-Zero Home comes in.
Lighten the power workload
Your house is a series of systems: ventilation, heating,
lighting, insulation, etc. These structures are complex and interconnected.
Therefore, they require...
A passive-certified home is one that employs a set of advanced building technologies to achieve extreme energy efficiency. Energy consumption is reduced by up to 90% compared to a conventionally-built home. A passive-inspired home incorporates many of the same building techniques and materials found in a passive-certified home, but without the rigor of certification and at a slightly lower price tag. Keep reading to understand the key differences between these two sustainable home options and choose which route is best for you.
What is Passive-Certified?
If you would like to part...
Where high-performance houses are
concerned, Clarum Homes believes the entire approach is important. This
includes everything from design details, materials or installation methods. To
ensure all these aspects work in concert to deliver a highly efficient home
that lives up to the high-performance label, you’ll need a solid plan. Not to
worry, we have some tips to help you plan the high-performance home build of
Create a comprehensive budget
Building a green, high-performance
home will typically always cost more than the same home built to standard
Did you know that the average
single-family home in the U.S. generates between 6,960 & 12,064 lbs. of
construction waste? A home is only as sustainable as the materials used in its
construction. Learn how you can keep your home out of the landfill.
Your home: the sum of its parts
is vital, there are other factors to sustainability. It’s crucial to discuss
the selection of ecologically-friendly building materials with your designer
and contractor. The source of your home’s materials is critical, as well as the
manufacturing methods of the products.