The Energy House design partners identified five key principles that guide a decision to develop an Energy House location: Smart Design, Healthy Environment, Energy Efficiency, Water, and Education. These same principles apply to every home or business that receives an individual “Energy Design” for that dwelling or facility by the energy house team. We consider not only the health and safety of the structure to its inhabitants, but also its energy and material efficiency, its systems of providing heating and cooling as well as electricity, water and in some cases, other utilities.
Energy House Design
The Energy House is a design standard that focuses on existing homes and the energy upgrade of their systems and facilities. Homes have ranged in age from the 1800′s to modern day. It is the focus on the existing housing stock that has set the Energy House apart from other “Green” demonstration sites that feature new construction.
The Energy Design of an existing home is always specific to that particular structure and family. Both are the primary considerations when choosing a potential Energy House. We have selected so far a large stand-alone home, a one bedroom condo, a town house, and a row house in on Capitol Hill. The families of our Energy House projects range from young couples, working professionals, and business owners. Collectively, it is their desire to save money, reduce their utility costs, and fulfill a passion for saving energy.
1. Smart Design
The key elements of any design of a new project must be to first review and collect information on the current conditions of the property. This is done with a free energy review provided by the Energy House team. Next an independent Energy Evaluator is recommended by the team to act as the owner’s expert in the energy upgrade of the property. From both of these reports comes the Energy House specific “Energy Design” for that project.
The Energy Design will take into consideration the entire house. This holistic approach to a home is what separates the Energy House team from other companies in the market. By applying the most modern energy efficient methods and systems into the design, customers can be sure that they will save money and energy. In addition, we provide proven energy contractors that guarantee their work and are second to no one in customer service, along with a bottom line approach to your energy upgrade that will match your budget and provide a realistic payback and return on your investment.
2. Healthy Environment
Healthy homes are safe homes. One of the first considerations of our review and information collection process is to identify any health and safety issues in a home. Mold, insect and varmint infestations, structural malfunctions, improper ventilation, and purification systems are the first considerations. The design strives to create healthy environments by using no or low VOC paints and materials, blown in cellulose insulation, spray foam, rather than fiberglass bats. Clean air filters systems; improve the indoor air you breathe, proper humidification and dehumidification as well as water saving and recycling systems are some of the focus of the Energy House “Energy Design”.
3. Energy Efficiency
High tech lower impact is the standard for which our design is predicated. Throughout the home, our materials and technology save energy. Passive solar application to a home is always studied on how it can be applied or expanded to improve efficiency by adding free heat or cooling. Additionally, the design suggests ways to reduce air infiltration , increases insulation, improve ducts efficiency by cleaning and sealing, upgrading appliances, changing out lighting with CFL’s and improving landscaping by including indigenous plantings to the homes landscaping plan to save water.
Heating and cooling equipment is analyzed and alternative systems are considered and projected against cost and energy savings. Geothermal, solar thermal hot water, photo-voltaic electrical supplement, and high efficiency state of the art equipment is considered. A full home automated smart technology system is also suggested as a way for homeowners to control heat, cooling, lighting, security sensors, cameras, water systems, as well as electricity, gas and water consumption in real time.
Water is the Earth’s most precious and natural resource, yet in traditional homes, more than one-quarter of drinking water is used to flush toilets and water plants and outside areas. A dripping faucet can be attributed to more than 100 gallons of water going down the drain each day. Simply checking your water fixtures and repairing those leaks can save you money. Landscape watering can be minimized with rain water management from your roof. Rain barrels and storage tanks can be used to reduce dependency on city water systems, which will save you money.
It is stated that 50% of energy efficiency is in the education of the home or business owner. Buildings do not use energy – people use energy. If you take the time to learn about energy efficiency from the Energy House, changes in your habits could account for more than a 50% decrease in your energy usage. The Energy House can show you how to start this process and our team of energy experts can provide you with the tools to make it happen.