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Foundation Insulation Strategy
Like my head of hair, our foundations designs have changed over time. What once was full and blonde is now looking thinner with a few random grays, and what once was known as a standard foundation is quickly becoming obsolete. While the various past designs we have used are energy efficient, not all were the…Read More
Sustainable Building and Design, Because It’s Time, Pt4
Paul acknowledges that “sustainable” has become “an overcooked term”, but it’s one that people understand in today’s marketplace. It has many aspects. He laughs because wherever he goes, all he hears is that this pill or that juice or this thing or that thing is sustainable. It’s definitely getting over baked, over-cooked, over-broiled, over-fried, and…Read More
A Resource For Other Builders
Because It’s Time, Part 3 “We recently installed a PV system on a house in Hartland that’s being built by another builder,” says Tim. “There’s another one in Springfield, and one in Quechee. A builder can offer renewable energy to their clients by calling us in to do it. We want to be considered a…Read More
Because It’s Time: What Does It Mean? Part 2
As Y2K approached and many thought the world might end or would at the very least be extremely discombobulated in attempting to adjust clocks and computers to the new millennium, Biebel reminisces, “We stocked up a year’s supply of food, just in case, and we asked ourselves, ‘Why are we buying food that comes from…Read More
Because It’s Time, Part 1
The idea had been kicking around in his head since 1989, when Paul Biebel finally decided “it was time” to get it going. Even though it was over 20 years ago when he first thought about it, he remembers it like it was yesterday. “First it was the S&L Scandals on Feb 10th, 1989, when…Read More
Budgeting for Site and Lot Improvements, Part 2
This document is a very good investment to have in one’s file. It protects everyone past, present, and future; especially when it comes time to sell or re-finance. By state law, Vermont Banks cannot gain clear title to its own property without such letters of compliance. This makes the Banking Institution very nervous. This particular…Read More
Budgeting for Site and Lot Improvements, Part 1
When I estimate construction costs, I separate my estimate in to several categories of costs. This keeps me organized and focused. In my article on our BBI Website, “How much do you charge per Square Foot?” I explained that the total cost of building a new home includes five major categories. They are as follows:…Read More
Why Build a High-Tech Home?
If you’re thinking of building a home, and you want the best “bang for your bucket of bucks,” prudence suggests that you consider the advantages of going high-tech, even perhaps aiming for a net-zero home. “Net-zero” describes a home in which the renewable energy sources that are incorporated into the design produce the equivalent of…Read More
COMBINATION SYSTEMS: SOLAR SPACE HEATING & HOT WATER
Solar hot water (SHW) systems use the “greenhouse effect” to heatwater or air in a thermal collector, in conjunction with a suitablysized storage tank or ducting system to supply hot water and heatfor use in homes and businesses. SHW for domestic hot water works asa pre-heat system that operates in series with your existing heating…Read More
GEO THERMAL SYSTEMS
Geothermal heat systems are the most energy-efficient, environmentallyclean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available today.Conventional residential and light commercial heating and cooling systemsare generally fossil fuel and electricity based. Ground Source Heat Pumps(GSHPs) are the most efficient types of geothermal systems and are becoming more common as the costs of energy and equipment maintenance rise.…Read More