Zero Net Carbon: It begins with Design

 

Watch out. You might get what you're after!

Watch out. You might get what you’re after!

Climate change is bad news!

But wait. We have good news about the bad news. The bad news is that the built environment is responsible for the majority of global CO2 emissions that contribute to climate change. The good news is that we know how to design and build homes that contribute to the solution rather than perpetuate the problem. The other good news is that carbon dioxide emissions are dropping, in part due to energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy. We are committed to that path. The bad news is that we are well short of the reductions that need to be made. Thus, there is urgency.

 

Buildings are a big part of the problem

Buildings are a big part of the problem

Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) buildings address this urgent need to mitigate the CO2 impacts of fossil fuel based energy consumption. A ZNC building is defined as a highly energy efficient building that produces on-site, or procures, enough carbon-free renewable energy to meet building operations energy consumption annually. In a ZNC building, carbon-based energy consumption is reduced first through building design strategies and efficiency measures, then through on-site renewable energy generation, and finally through procurement of locally produced off-site renewable energy.

As we watch the political will to respond to climate change evaporate it has become clear that we can’t wait for politics, bureaucracy, or legislation to make this progress. It’s going to be up to each of us to take direct action to make the built environment a positive asset on the balance sheet of the planet.

We can design and build or remodel Net Zero Carbon homes.

You can become energy conscious, reduce use, and install or purchase renewably produced energy. Contact us to learn more. If you can’t install it, purchase renewable energy for the same reasons you favor buying healthy, organic food. You can find options for Connecticut at this Dept. of Energy Green Power Buying Guide 

 


A BLOG SAMPLER

A random sampling of past blog posts in the domains of discovery, design, craft, and performance



THE BLOG LIBRARY

Design Build Guidance: Smart choices and common mistakes

Design Build Guidance: Smart choices and common mistakes

At our recent "Better Home: Better Life" Workshop we asked, "what does it take to make a good home great?" What unfolded was a look at the roadmap we rely on to answer that question. What it takes is a robust approach to what is broadly described as "design thinking."...

Better Home. Better Life.

Better Home. Better Life.

Our "Better Home. Better Life." Workshops were created for anyone eager to learn what it takes to make a good home great. Here's an overview with an opportunity to be notified of upcoming workshops and a bonus download taken from the workshop content. "Discover how...

Did you miss it? We all learned a lot at the Net Zero Open House

Did you miss it? We all learned a lot at the Net Zero Open House

This past weekend about sixty people came out in the rain to see, touch, and feel how different a future friendly home is from the homes most of us live in. The grand prize winner's of the 2013 CT Zero Energy Challenge opened their doors, led tours, and shared in our...

Open House for Farmington Net Zero Winner

Open House for Farmington Net Zero Winner

On Saturday October 4 from 11-3 you’re invited to visit EnergizeCT’s 2013 CT Zero Energy Challenge Grand Prize Winner right here in Farmington. Get directions at the end of this post. What’s it like to live in a home that is actually producing significantly more...

Beautifully Done: The sun shines on another Net Zero Winner!

Beautifully Done: The sun shines on another Net Zero Winner!

This Farmington home produces more energy than it uses on an annual basis. Pretty remarkable, right? This "net zero" performance deserves recognition; that's why energizeCT created its annual CT Zero Energy Challenge. And that's why we are especially pleased to have...

Net Zero: The new goal posts

Net Zero: The new goal posts

This is a story about where we live and the energy we use to live there and the tantalizing prospect of actually producing all the energy we need on an annual basis - its a new way of thinking about building what are called Zero Net Energy homes. The best place to...

Saving Energy with a Thick Skin

Saving Energy with a Thick Skin

We're just closing up the building "envelope" on a Passive House project in Farmington. This is always an important milestone in the project because we get to test how effectively our air sealing strategy is performing while we can still get at any spots we might have...

Passive House Winner Meets the Challenges

Passive House Winner Meets the Challenges

CT's First Certified Passive House wins the 2012 CT Zero Energy Challenge The Passive House we designed and built in Harwinton this year has been recognized for meeting two significant challenges. It is the first house in CT to be officially certified by the...

Designing and Building the Harwinton Passive House – Part One

Designing and Building the Harwinton Passive House – Part One

Paul and Diane Honig and their family moved into their new Passive House a couple weeks ago and are marveling at the indoor comfort as winter approaches. This is what it's all about for us, creating a home that looks great, works well, and feels good to be in. The...

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