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Net Zero Home in Vermont: Do I Need a Back Up Heating System?
Net zero homes are powered by energy generated from solar panels and the local power company. Vermont (and New Hampshire) winters can be cold and dark. What happens if the power goes out in your net zero home in Vermont? 1) What are the Likely Scenarios? Before you build or even pick a location, it…Read More
Downsizing for Seniors: Why You Need The Net Zero Energy Option
This article assumes that you are a senior and you are trying to discern the most prudent approach to downsizing: Okay, when you hear the words “net zero,” what comes to mind: __My favorite basketball player missed the buzzer-beater __ My investments just tanked __ My credit card is maxed out. __It’s a new credit…Read More
How Much More Does It Cost to Build a Net Zero Home in Vermont?
One of the main questions people ask about building a net zero home in Vermont is, “How much will it cost?” Building a net zero home costs about 10 percent more than building the same house without the high tech, high performance, money-saving elements. But spending 10 percent more during construction may save between $3,000…Read More
Downsizing Your Home: All That Glitters Is Not Golden
So you’ve decided to start downsizing your home, and you want to live in Vermont, so now you’re searching for a builder who specializes in high-performance/zero energy home construction. You look online, you search everywhere … and you finally connect with someone who is “certified” in the field, and who promises to do the work…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
Top Questions To Ask A High Performance Builder Before You Buy
In this article, we are going to give you some of the top questions to ask a high-performance builder during the interview process. These are questions that they should be able to answer based on the knowledge and experience of building high-performance homes. How do air barriers differ from vapor barriers? What is a Breathable…Read More
What is the Net Zero Energy Home Design Process?
Creating a Home Design: Net zero energy home designs begin with a dialogue between the client, designer, and builder. At first introduction, prospective clients often bring sketches, pictures, and a wish list with them. An experienced builder is able to clarify a client’s ideas and offer plans or suggestions based on past experience. For example,…Read More
Minisplit System for a Happy Mother-in-Law
The system is sized for temperature control in each room. The ProHOME is heated and cooled with Mitsubishi Heat Pumps. Specifically, there are two outdoor units (MXZ-3C24NAHZ2) that feed five indoor units (two on one outdoor unit and three on the other). This provides 48,000 btu’s of heating capacity, which is overkill for the house,…Read More
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…Read More
The Construction of a High Performance Home: Week 4
At the risk of sounding more like a blog about the weather than one about the construction of a high performance home, I will keep the weather comments brief. Here’s the skinny: the weather changed our schedule yet again! The roads, which have “never in history been posted in February,” were posted on Thursday, February…Read More