Green Homes 101
October 22, 2004

Related Documents
Green Building 101
- Presentation by Mike Myers
- Adobe PDF 7.66 MB - Large File
Mike Myers of Aspen Building Systems led a wide ranging discussion of all aspects of what makes a home green as well as what products, materials, design practices, and site considerations do (or do not) go into green home. Mike opened his conversation by stating a central theme of the evening: all components and systems in a building, and on the site, are (and should be) interconnected; it is a fallacy to consider any single aspect of the building in isolation from all the others. For this reason, it is best to have as many points of view represented as possible when designing the home. To demonstrate the problems created by the "design by components" paradigm, Mike brought up the example of ductwork; in most houses, the ducts are added as an unplanned afterthought, and follow contorted paths through the unconditioned attic. In this paradigm, there are two major, unnecessary inefficiencies in the system: a larger pump is required to force air around all the curves, and energy is lost due to the large temperature difference between the (frequently leaky) ducts and the unconditioned attic. Another important theme: just because it is the status quo does not mean that it makes any sense!

Products and specifics:
  1. General:
    1. Look for Energy Star label
    2. Look for low or zero VOC products
  2. Lighting:
    1. Compact fluorescent rather than incandescent
      1. Larger first cost, but money saved in energy
      2. Less heat produced (incandescent: 80% heat, 20% light)
      3. Fewer watts required to light the same space
    2. No recessed lights between conditioned space and unconditioned attic
      1. Insulation leak
      2. New product: air-tight recessed lights, should reduce this problem
  3. Insulation/sealing/climate control:
    1. Important to 'sandwich' vertical insulation for efficiency
    2. Seal home as completely as possible
      1. Dupont House Wrap
      2. Requires mechanical ventilation system
        1. Allows control of intake (location, filter, dehumidify)
    3. Efficient use of air ducts
      1. Mastic, not duct tape for sealing
      2. Ducts in conditioned space (or condition attic)
      3. Minimize turns in ducts
    4. Don't forget to insulate behind the bathtub!
  4. Water:
    1. Rain water, capture in barrels
      1. Use for irrigation, commodes
    2. Point of use/on demand water heating
      1. Save space (no storage tank)
      2. Less piping required
      3. Hot water immediately
      4. Energy saved (do not heat pipes, or run water while waiting)
  5. Materials:
    1. Rastra/Cempo/Perform Wall - blocks made from recycled polystyrene
    2. Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction
    3. Compressed Straw Walls - for interior
    4. Hebel Block - aerated cement
    5. Galvalume Roofing - 30 year roof product
    6. Sarnafil Membrane roof