May 17, 2012

An Affordable Passive House by Chris Corson

"The big-picture goal of the Passive House movement is to nearly eliminate housing’s share of climate change by slashing energy consumption to about 6 percent of that used in conventional homes. But to have a practical effect, the standard can’t just apply to high-end projects with big budgets; it has to be within reach of ordinary working people. That’s why I jumped at the chance to build a 1,600-square-foot two-bedroom Passive House in Knox, Maine, for a young working couple with a $210,000 budget....For my first Passive House, I wanted not only to hit the performance targets but to build affordably, using methods familiar to any capable builder and readily available materials and products."  [Wonderful illustrations and photos in this PDF from JLC-Online]

Startup Takes Google Street View Approach to Home Energy Audits

Home energy efficiency startup Essess has a pretty cool idea for bringing building energy efficiency information to the masses. It's basically a merging of two already successful ideas: Google Street View and online real estate libraries like Zillow or Trulia. The company plans to send cars to take thermal energy scans of every building in the country, find energy leaks and give the buildings each an energy score, and then build an online library of that information. [Full story via Treehugger]