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...
When an architect, designer, and builder set out with the intention of building a high-performance home, they often determine a sustainability goal based on an established certification program. These third-party certification programs define the parameters and expectations of the custom home’s ongoing energy savings. They include suggested materials, recommend efficiency engineering practices and can demand applied environmental quality controls.
There are some popular and emerging high-performance home certification programs on the market today. Homeowners are increasingly familiar with...
When you build a custom home to high-performance or passive home standards, one of the primary objectives is to lower the home’s heating and cooling costs. In traditional construction, heat loss through your walls, roof, and windows can drive up your heating bill. It might surprise you to learn that most heat loss is through the walls – about 35 percent! And, even though warm air rises, you're losing ten percent more heat through your walls than out your roof. The opposite holds true when temperatures outside are hot. A standard home will absorb heat through the walls at higher rates, even...
Good custom home design is a perfect mix of needs, trends, and priorities. When you build a new home, you decide how you want to live, what you want to live with, and the price you’re willing to pay. Whether you’re into following closely or running away from, the hottest trends in home design, a custom homebuilder like Clarum Homes can bring your dream to life. One of the core benefits of building a new, modern home, is the high level of customization.
We dived into what’s heating up in home design trends for 2018 and made some pleasant discoveries. Mainly, custom modern homes have...
Extend your living space outdoors
One of the reasons we all love Palo Alto is for its gorgeous weather. We live in a city that gets – on average – 261 sunny days each year. This beautiful weather motivates us to get outside as much as we can.
So, it’s important when planning the construction of your modern home to think about how to extend your living space outdoors. The right design will turn your outside areas into an oasis that’s so comfortable, inviting, and relaxing, you’ll never want to leave!
At Clarum, we encourage our clients to think about their outdoor spaces throughout...
As we mentioned in our last post, Choosing Energy-Efficient Windows (Part 1) - Understanding U-Factor, selecting the right windows is a big decision when building a passive-inspired home. It’s also one of the most important elements for both energy efficiency and aesthetics. In this article, we’ll discuss another essential aspect of energy-performance rating in windows – the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC).
How does energy flow through windows?
As illustrated below, windows lose and gain heat by convection, radiation, conduction, and air leakage.
Windows are a crucial component in the design of a house, and their aesthetic appeal can help support the overall style of the building. They allow daylight into the home and give us a visual connection to the outside world. We expect windows to let in fresh air and breezes when the weather is right. And – when the weather is unpleasant – we want our windows to be airtight with great thermal insulation.
It should come as no surprise that windows play a huge role in the overall energy efficiency of your home. Windows help to moderate heat flow, making them a key contributor...
When you’re building a new custom home, defining a construction budget should be the very first item on your planning checklist. Your construction budget will help clarify the allocation of funds, establish realistic limits, and help you get a better picture of your project.
Knowing your spending limits and developing a custom home building budget will also go a long way towards staying in alignment with your financial goals – and helping you avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
Determine cost per square foot
Square foot homebuilding costs are a great place to start when establishing...
One common landscaping concern for high performance homeowners is erosion—which can significantly affect your home, neighborhood, local natural habitats, and the water supply.
What is erosion?
Erosion is the natural process by which soil and rock are removed from one area and deposited into another—usually as a result of wind, rainfall, or water flow.
While this process has brought us natural phenomena like the Grand Canyon, it is also to blame for stripping the land bare of nutrient-dense soil, creating excessive sediment in waterways, disrupting ecosystems, and other environmental problems.
Building a new custom home? Indoor air quality should be at the top of your mind.
The average American spends 90% of their time indoors, and air contaminant levels inside the average new home are 2 to 5 times worse than the pollution levels outside.
This may come as a surprise. You’re probably aware of the toxic contaminants like lead and asbestos that have made historical headlines and reshaped building codes. But did you know that new home construction presents its own list of contaminants and pollutants to worry about?
Toxicity in new home construction
Unfortunately, most construction...