• David Weekley Homes, one of many production builders in the program, is building EFL Platinum-level homes in nine markets.

    Environments For Living Marks Milestone

    Initiated by Masco Home Services, the 10-year-old certification program is based on building science principles.

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    LEED for Homes Update

    Upcoming changes to LEED-H will aim to streamline the certification process, reduce paperwork, and move toward performance-based criteria.

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    Applied Science

    Some aspect of the success or failure of your green building projects relates directly to how well you apply building science principles.

  • Battens installed over housewrap.

    Advanced Rainscreens

    New research, code requirements, and material assemblies are driving strategic changes rainscreens.

  • 2011 Builders' Show Preview

    12 green products from the residential construction industry’s largest event.

  • Solar Gard. Blocking up to 79% of solar heat, this residential window film helps save energy costs, stabilize interior temperature, and reduce glare, according to the manufacturer. The film, which comes in varying tints from clear to dark, also blocks UV rays to protect furniture from fading. It doubles as a safety feature by holding shattered glass in place. 877.273.4364. www.solargard.com.

    New + Notable January-February 2011

    New products for green-built homes.

  • Accsys Technologies. To make Accoya lumber, the company starts with sustainably harvested wood then manufactures it using a non-toxic acetylation process that makes the product more dimensionally stable and durable than tropical hardwoods, the firm says. It is indigestible for many insects, including termites, and is suitable for use as decking and in components for windows, doors, and structural elements. The wood carries FSC, PEFC, and Cradle to Cradle Gold certifications. 972.233.6565. www.accoya.com.

    New + Notable

    New products for green-built homes.

  • You have to question every building practice you thought was standard, says ML Vidas, sustainability advisor on this new Living Building Challenge project under way in Bend, Ore. Designer Al Tozer calls this the most rigorous process hes experienced, from ensuring net zeroenergy and water performance to product selection and local sourcing. Specifying materials is a real challenge, he says. Theyre pretty strict about the LBC Red List.Exterior features include:Walk-off grates FSC-certified and reclaimed wood products R-60 closed-cell foam walls/ceilingsLoewen high-performance windows, passive solar designSolar PV and water heating  Rainwater harvestingLocal sandalwood stone veneerConstructed wetland

    Living Buildings

    Considered by many to be the most stringent standard in North America, the Living Building Challenge forces green designers to question every building practice and product.

  • GE. With an Energy Factor of 2.3, the GeoSpring heat-pump water heater exceeds current Energy Star requirements and consumes 62% less energy than standard electric water heaters, the maker says. The unit features a backlit LCD display that allows homeowners to choose from four different modes to adjust to changing hot water needs. A vacation setting drops the systems temperature set point to 50 degrees F to save energy, while also preventing the water from freezing. 800.626.2005. www.geappliances.com.

    Think Tank

    Although tankless water heaters have gotten a lot of attention the last few years, tank-style units offer plenty of efficient options, and in some cases, are actually more efficient.

  • EcoStucco. Made with limestone, EcoStucco requires about 40% less CO2 to produce than Portland cementbased stucco, the manufacturer says. The lime plaster can be used with most substrates, including blue board, concrete, and masonry. The product comes in 216 standard colors made with natural pigments and five textures. 415.455.9896. www.ecostucco.com.

    Taking Sides

    When it comes to selecting siding, there are lots of options--and no silver bullet. Here's what attributes to look for.

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    Mixed Greens

    Shirley contracting had to enlist a true team of experts, including several engineers, a land-use planner, two landscape architecture firms, and a wildlife biologists, to tackle the challenges this steep and sensitively-zoned site presented.

  • ROOFLight-colored Union Corrugating Advantage-Lok galvanized metal on the lower roof and white composition shingles from Atlas Roofing on the upper act as radiant barriers to keep the house cool even during scorching southern summers. Union Corrugating: 888.685.7663. www.unioncorrugating.com. Atlas Roofing: 800.478.0258. www.atlasroofing.com. WINDOWSDeep roof overhangs and low-E double-glazed aluminum-clad Lincoln Windows helped yield a 25% load reduction on the HVAC system, Hinson says. The Energy Star-rated windows have an average solar heat gain coefficient of 0.29 and an average U-factor of 0.36. 715.536.2461. www.lincolnwindows.com.SIDINGTo deflect heat and to mimic the look of nearby wood-sided barns and outbuildings, the architects speced white HardiePlank fiber-cement lap siding with the new HardieZone system that provides climate-specific performance attributes based on a projects location. For the stone accents, they chose Owens Cornings Cultured Stone, which contains 35% recycled pre-consumer waste and is certified to Greenguards Children & Schools standard. James Hardie: 888.542.7343. www.jameshardie.com. Owens Corning: 800.255.1727. www.culturedstone.com.

    Southern Comfort

    Generations-old siting techniques and state-of-the-art energy modeling combine for a modern twist on the rural farmhouse.

  • Ferrous House, Spring Prairie, Wis.

    A Tale of Two Houses

    A Milwaukee architecture firm tranforms a dated and dysfunctional production house into an AIA award-winning home

  • Hudson Valley Project Demonstrates the Ultra-Efficient Practices of Passive House

    Thick, tight wall assemblies, a compact shape, and continuous insulation help this New York home achieve the rigorous requirements of the German-born standard.

  • KB Home Completes Nation’s First WaterSense-Labeled Production Homes

    Designed with energy and water conservation in mind, the 118-home California community includes low-flow fixtures, recirculation pumps, and native landscaping.