With the 4th of July weekend officially behind us, it's safe to say that summer is well underway - and it’s getting hot out there. While we’re grateful for the sunshine in Palo Alto, we’re also grateful to have cool, comfortable homes to retreat to when the heat gets intense.
It's no wonder power bills start to climb around this time of year, as air conditioners kick on to combat the climbing temperatures. Unfortunately, most conventionally built homes are incredibly inefficient in how they manage temperature. As much as 40% of a home’s cooling and heating loss is due to air leakage...
Are you looking to own a home? If yes, you may be wondering whether to build a new home or buy a new used house. Based on the fact that the prices of buying a new home can be quite high, your first option might be to purchase a pre-existing residence. However, you might be surprised by how much you might save if you decide to build your own. Indeed, one of the best things about building a home is that your wants and needs are completely fulfilled.
Here are several things to keep in mind that are perks in building new versus buying an existing home.
It will feature cutting-edge design
Summer is officially here – and for those of us in California, it’s a time when we want to enjoy the great outdoors more than ever. Spending time outside is the perfect way to get fresh air, exercise, and improve mental health. However, with physical distancing measures still in place, many are looking to their own backyards for comfort, distraction and a connection to nature without straying too far from home.
Even before the days of COVID-19, outdoor environments have always been a top priority for homeowners. Research from the National Association of Home Builders and Better...
For many people the idea of sustainability has been a
concept without a tangible connection but that is quickly changing. Now that we
are all spending so much time indoors, it’s clearer than ever how important it
is to be intentional about our space. Having a home office might have been a
nice-to-have before but, with remote work becoming more common, a home that
supports the new ways we live and work will be essential.
From how it’s laid out to where you get your power, building a sustainable home is about building a home that takes care of you and your family. Passive and Passive...
Now that Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the default for all
new residential homes, we’re going to see a tremendous change in the way houses
are built in California. While ZNE is a positive development for the
environment and the reliability of our electric grid, not all builders will
have the experience to craft homes that will excel 2020 Solar Mandate.
To understand this a bit better, let’s look at two families that represent clients we see at Clarum: the Parkers and the Joneses.
Matt and Sarah Parker – On the go
Matt Parker is a busy guy. As a lead partner in his private
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
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 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