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...
At Clarum, we work with families to leverage Passive House home building practices for extreme performance opportunities in their custom home building projects. 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.
The History of Passive Homes
The Passivhaus house concept originated in 1988 with a conversation
between Professors Bo Adamson of Lund University, Sweden and Wolfgang Feist of
the Institute for Housing and the Environment,...
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...
If you're considering building a new custom home, there has never been a better time to take the benefits of passive home construction to heart. Climate change, rising energy costs and a greater awareness of our impact on the earth leads us to question our traditional methods of home construction. For those striving to reduce energy costs, and their carbon footprint, passive home construction is becoming increasingly attractive – and viable.
The inventory of passive-certified homes is growing in the US [Fig 1], with certifications more than doubling in 2017 over the previous year. By the end of 2017...
From where you put your windows, to how you position your home on your lot, the right location is a significant consideration in high-efficiency homebuilding. To build a modern custom home at the highest end of energy conservation and comfort, a whole-house approach to design and systems function takes careful consideration and planning. Harnessing the sun, nature's most potent energy source, can be done in a way that is both incredibly cost-effective as well as aesthetically beautiful. By utilizing passive home building techniques, the sun becomes our ally in energy efficiency, environmental...
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...
In our last blog post, we discussed how LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification can bring your home to the next level. Between improved indoor air quality, greater energy efficiency, and even increased owner satisfaction, attaining this accreditation makes sense for eco-conscious consumers.
In part two of this LEED blog series, we’ll dive into what you should anticipate during the certification process and hear from the experts how to best navigate the process.
The LEED certification process: What to expect
While LEED certification involves...
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...
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.