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Posts by Tim Biebel

What You Should Know About Solar Payback for a High Performance Home

Installing a solar system has both short-term and long-term benefits. Right away, you can feel warm (literally) and fuzzy (figuratively) about reducing your “carbon footprint.”. Plus, over time the system will gradually pay for itself out of your energy savings, AND as a bonus, once paid for, it can start making money for you.  …

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The 5 Crucial Design Elements for Net Zero Homes in Vermont

Net-Zero Home

To some, net-zero may sound like something from the realm of science fiction. It’s not.  A net zero home is one that has the potential to create as much energy as it consumes. And in fact, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, such homes may become mainstream in time. Why mainstream? Solar panels,…

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Downsizing for Seniors: The Importance of Energy Star Ratings

So you’ve decided to downsize your home, and now you’re considering your options. Living under someone else’s thumb (retirement community / assisted living) does not appeal to you. But living in a little farmhouse in Vermont sounds wonderful. After all, it’s beautiful there in any season, you’ll own a small piece of history, and the last…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes:Intersection of Exterior Wall & Rafter

As we continue with our discussion about (affordable zero energy homes) and High Performance Construction Methods, our subject for today’s blog will focus on a very important connection point where double-stud exterior walls intersect with the roof system. Here is where a lot of energy treatments must be installed correctly. Unfortunately, the temptation for many builders…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 2

In the not-too-distant past, not enough attention was paid to the slab. The foundation hole was dug and leveled, and then four to six inches of concrete we poured into the forms. Some builders still take a similar approach to the slab (especially what is under it). But concrete slabs aren’t like carpet. Once the…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: Foundations – Part 1

One of the biggest challenges that builders in the Northeast face is the high cost of construction. Part of the challenge is just finding an affordable south facing land that has a good source of water, power nearby, and friendly soils that can support a septic system and allow for a foundation without blasting and…

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What’s a Smart Slab Assembly for Net Zero Construction in Vermont?

Net zero construction in Vermont requires executing high-performance building practices in every aspect of the residential project. A home built to net zero construction in Vermont assumes that the building contractor has incorporated high-performance standards within every element of construction. A high-performance home is super-insulated from the foundation to the roof, super sealed from air incursion, and…

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What is Net Zero Energy Construction in Vermont?

With new homes technology moving so fast today, terms such as: “green energy,” “renewal resources,” “solar,” “geo-thermal,” and more, can lead to confusion. The term, “net zero” simply means that the home produces as much energy as it uses, resulting in a net end-of-year zero usage of energy and thus zero net energy costs. Renewable…

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Affordable Zero Energy Homes: A Balloon Framed Wall does it All!

We’ve discovered that a double 2×4, balloon framed, an exterior wall with dense pack insulation performs at the highest level – satisfying both demands of thermal and fire blocking performance and cost-effectiveness. Not only that, the less I depend on using foam, the more relaxed my clients seem to be when building affordable zero energy homes.…

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