Foundation Insulation Strategy

Foundation Insulation Strategy 1

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…

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Sustainable Building and Design, Because It’s Time, Pt4

Sustainable Building and Design, Because It's Time, Pt4 8

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…

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A Resource For Other Builders

A Resource For Other Builders 9

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…

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Because It’s Time: What Does It Mean? Part 2

Because It's Time: What Does It Mean? Part 2 10

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…

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Budgeting for Site and Lot Improvements, Part 1

Budgeting for Site and Lot Improvements, Part 1 11

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:…

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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…

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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.…

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What Is A Stand-Alone Electric System?

What Is A Stand-Alone Electric System? 14

Stand-alone renewable energy systems often referred to as “off-grid” systems, provide electrical power to homes, businesses, and remote equipment independent of the utility electrical grid. Modern stand-alone equipment and improvements in system design have produced off-grid electrical systems that are reliable, quiet, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Off-grid living is as much a mindset as it…

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Why Are Wind Energy Systems Dependable?

Why Are Wind Energy Systems Dependable? 15

blade construction and generator design allow today’s wind turbines tooperate quietly and reliably in a wide variety of environmental conditions.Before deciding on a specific type of wind system, it is important toknow the potential of your site. Ample wind is a prerequisite for successfully siting a wind turbine, and generally speaking, the more the better.…

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Micro Hydro Systems: What Are They?

Micro Hydro Systems: What Are They? 16

Today’s micro-hydro Run-of-River system designs are dependable, economical, efficient, and environmentally friendly. Harnessing the powerof water to generate electricity allows us to gain some sense of responsibility for meeting our own needs and for reducing our impact on the environment. Micro-hydro systems are typically 4-5 times better cost to energy outputand corresponding reduction in total…

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