Tag Archives: green building

New measures in store for California Title 24 Energy Codes

I sat in on a seminar last week at the Pacific Coast Builders Convention that was directed towards the upcoming changes in store for Ca. Title 24 2016.
According to Energy Code Ace, California’s current agenda includes all new Homes being built to be zero net energy by the year 2020. A very aggressive expectation by any stretch.
One of the main objectives of the new upgrades was to make attic spaces cooler in order to extend the life of our HVAC systems. Some attics can reach 140 degrees or more in the summer months and for our systems to perform in this heat they must work much harder. Not to mention the hot air needs to be pushed through the ducts before the new cold air can be introduced.
So there are 4 alternate options being offered for roof systems.
• Apply a 1” air space between roof deck and roofing for air to move freely and keep the attic cooler. There are new systems being developed to achieve this.
• Insulate not only the ceiling but the rafters above to help keep the attic cooler.
• Don’t insulate the ceiling but ONLY the rafters above. Thereby making the attic into conditioned space. This would require the attic to have no ventilation to not allow the cool, conditioned air to escape.
• Or place all HVAC equipment and ducting in a conditioned space as in below the ceiling. This would require soffits to be built under the ceiling level to accommodate duct runs in the conditioned area.

All of these options have mandatory provisions for wrapping all ducts with min. R4 insulation, a Hers test will now be mandatory for duct leakage testing, and all roofs will be required to be Sheathed with radiant barrier roof sheathing.
Another new mandatory measure is that ALL new residential construction will be required to have continuous 1” rigid foam insulation around the entire exterior. So you might want to do your homework now for system integration of housewrap, window flashing, foam insulation, and fastening of wood siding to the foam.
The new codes are set to take effect in January of 2017.

LEED and Passive House paving the way toward a Greener Future

I’ve been reading a lot lately about Passive House vs. LEED standards for sustainable building certification.
Although LEED is by far the most recognized green building certifying body in the United States, there are those who believe that The Passive House Standards are more easily adaptable for those who are wishing to build green.

The United States has actually lagged behind over the years compared to other nations in the area of sustainability. Europe has far surpassed the US when it comes to energy saving methodologies. Continue reading LEED and Passive House paving the way toward a Greener Future

Promoting Green Building Awareness

I often wonder why so many people are so uninterested in the green building movement. But over time I’ve come to the conclusion that, if everyone really understood the wide range of effects and consequences of ignoring the importance of the green movement, they would be more inclined to accept the responsibility of doing their part.

What we need to realize is this- We are destroying our planet-

Not that we’re doing it intentionally but traditional existence has allowed us to take so much for granted. Contrary to what many of us may think-

  • We do not have an unlimited supply of water.
  • There really is such a thing as global warming.
  • We are destroying the ozone with the use of fossil fuels for our energy and transportation needs.
  • And yes, believe it or not, we are fighting wars and sacrificing tens of thousands of lives in the middle east because of our dependence on foreign oil.

As it has been said “In the past wars have been fought over oil. In the future wars will be fought over water”
More than 2 billion people on earth do not have a safe supply of water.
Americans consume more than 5 times the amount of water than our European neighbors. There are simple measures we can all take to reduce our water consumption.Things like installing water efficient plumbing fixtures like EPA water sense toilets and urinals, and water saving faucets and shower heads.Some municipalities offer rebates which offset the cost of the toilets. Or using native or adaptive plants in our landscapes and implementing measures to reduce the use of potable water for landscape irrigation.
The single most important thing we can do in this country is to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We need to increase our supply of domestic alternative energy sources. Not only would this reduce the cost of energy but we would also create more jobs, and reduce damaging carbon emissions created by the use of fossil fuels.
Another overlooked amenity of green building is the reduction of indoor air pollutants thereby creating a much healthier indoor living and working environment.
These are just a few of the benefits of Green Building Awareness. You owe it to yourself, your planet, and future generations to do your part in leaving behind a healthier and safer environment.