Let me start off by defining, “better.” From the standpoint of construction quality or practices, an IECC home and a net-zero home will be the same. From the standpoint of saving energy, net-zero wins hands down. Let’s see why. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) The IECC is a residential coding standard that stipulates minimum…

Read More

For the obvious reason, solar power plays a big part in home energy efficiency. It’s the component that allows most homes within Vermont to become energy independent and achieve annual net-zero energy consumption. Just how important is solar in achieving net-zero construction in Vermont? And what are the big differences you’ll find between solar-powered, high-performance homes in Vermont, and the…

Read More

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

We’ve discovered that a double 2×4, balloon framed, 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…

Read More

Net Zero Energy is the coming norm for new home construction in several states, including Vermont. While the Vermont Legislature has mandated that all new homes achieve net zero energy standards by 2030, net zero energy is rapidly growing in popularity in states like New Hampshire, that don’t have a mandate. To construct a new home…

Read More

Air barrier Minimizing air movement in and out of a house is key to building an energy-efficient home. Many of the materials used in a house as structural and finish components can act as air barriers. Sealing all the holes and seams between sheet goods such as drywall, sheathing, and subflooring with durable caulk, gaskets, tape,…

Read More

Solar panels with sunflowers in Net Zero Construction in Vermont: Building Delivery Systems that work. Whenever a new term grows to a certain level of popularity, it can become a buzzword in any given industry. When the term becomes a buzzword, its original definition can become skewed. The term “net-zero energy” is one of those terms.…

Read More

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

How do we achieve a Prudent Living, Net-Zero home? Here’s our approach: Keep it simple – There are only two questions worth asking.  What are the facts? What’s in it for me? Avoid complicating conversations about Net-Zero with useless discussions about micro-mathematics, Scientific R-values vs Builder R-values, charts and graphs that show every cause and…

Read More