Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design

After much discussion here are some of the things we hope to include in the project.

  • Super efficient Double wall systems
  • High insulation values R24 foundation, R44 walls, R60 roof
  • Buried earth tubs to provide net-zero conditioning to the house all year round
  • Small electric heating coil as the building envelope will be super efficient
  • Air tight drywall insulation
  • Grid tied Solar PV array to generate electricity with goal of NET ZERO Energy
  • Rain water Harvesting for dishwasher, laundry, irrigation
  • Composting toilet
  • Triple paned efficient windows
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures
  • Materials all RED LIST READY (no bad stuff = no bio accumulative toxins)

We are excited to get this project moving.

The house will be monitored in construction and operation to verify the environmental performance as set out by the Living Building Challenge


Efficient Buildings

A number of ideas have been circulating through our minds on how to achieve the request list of our clients.  Budget is a huge consideration. So is the long term value of the project.  Since they don’t intend on moving in the near future some more interesting approaches can be considered.

The approaches we considered were:

1. LEED for Homes

2. Built Green

3. Living Building Challenge

Weighing each of these programs out Built Green is the easiest.  It’s simply a best practices in construction and building techniques.  LEED for homes came into the middle of the pack however the upfront design costs and detailed analysis required before submission meant that we are already late in applying.

From the early stages partnering with Integral Group seems to be a good strategy.  Integral group have extensive experience in all these green building assessment procedures including 30 LEED Platinum projects and 3 Living Building Challenge Buildings.

Living Building Challenge seemed like the simplest and most challenging.  Requirements are for building performance to measured over the course of a year, as opposed to LEED which requires intense modelling simulations.  As we are closely connected to the Cascadia Region Green Building Council the Living Building Challenge was the more obvious choice.