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
Building a green, high-performance home will typically
always cost more than the same home built to standard building codes. The
advantage is the long-term energy savings over the life of the home and the
improved quality of life — which for many is priceless.
Using California Code as a baseline of construction standards, these tables show the costs differences in initial construction costs, as well as the energy efficiency gains and ROI potential.
Costs and return on investment
People are often surprised to
learn that a high-performance
home only costs 5-10% more than a conventionally-built...
The cost of energy is rising rapidly — and not just in
dollars. Our environment is also paying the price: non-renewable energy
consumption, carbon emissions, and pollution. In the U.S., 39% of all
greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings.
We use energy — electricity, gas, and water — to keep our
houses at a comfortable temperature, our showers hot, our lights on, and our
gardens green, all of which generates carbon dioxide (CO2). Your carbon
footprint is the sum of all emissions of CO2, which are induced by
your activities in a given time frame.
High-performance homes support...