Green Homes


At a minimum every new home should be designed to meet the federally funded Energy Star standards.  Though entry-level certification is trivial, the advanced levels typically produce homes that are 15% more energy efficient than the IRC (International Residential Code) and up to 30% more efficient than non-rated homes. In addition to tax credits and rebates earned through this program, the resulting design will use less energy for the life of the building.

Watch this video of the “Net-Zero Home of the Future”:

Beyond just energy, the NAHB has published a painless set of Green Guidelines that will help the beginner get their bearings with regard to resource conservation, health and general sustainability. This is really not much more than a primer but it’s a very good introduction.

The following video shows a Home Energy Rating (HERS) test being performed on a home:

Far better and almost as accessible is the National Green Building Standard, also from the NAHB. Without getting too complicated or too expensive, you can design or purchase a home certified to be environmentally sound, healthy and even more energy efficient than some levels of Energy Star homes. Indeed, the rebates and tax credits from the Energy Star program can more than pay for the certification and testing fees associated with this program.

Watch the following videos to witness a “Deep Energy Retrofit”:


2 responses

11 10 2010
Sutton Coldfield Handyman

Thanks for this page and all of the videos – in my part of the world people are really catching on to installing solar panels, so certainly a step in the right direction.

I’m very interested in the Geo-Thermal heating…obviously not a cheap option to install yet? Or am I wrong? I’m not even sure what companies do or supply this method of heating/cooling yet. Can you hepl?

8 03 2012
Jeff Wilson

As with many things, Geo-Thermal is becoming more and more reasonably priced. Now there are options that will allow you to heat your domestic hot water as well as heat and cool your home. Talking with a couple of pros about having Geo Thermal installed at your house is a great first step – usually free to get a few quotes.

That said, getting a handle on the air-sealing and insulation in your home first will help you get the most out of whatever heating & cooling system you install. Depending on your house, that may include new windows and doors.

Check out the Deep Energy Retrofit of my older home at – we’ve slashed our energy bills by more than 75% with a combination of air-sealing, insulation, new windows and doors, and a 4kW solar array. Plus, our home is more comfortable and has healthier indoor air quality than before the retrofit – it’s like living in a brand new building.

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