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A decade long effort finally came to fruition in April 2018. After three designs, a recession of historic proportions, a renovation, and multiple historic commission hearings, I finally completed construction of my new home last spring.
After decades of tremendous growth in suburbia, we are now seeing a population shift back towards urban cores. A recent study from The George Washington University School of Business found that in Atlanta more than 60% of income-producing property in the region was developed in Established or Emerging Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPs), which account represent less than 1% of the region’s land mass. WalkUPs are more densely developed, provide a range of transportation options and building uses.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the cyclical nature of trends. Clothing, household goods, and other designs are frequently recycled, but what about construction and homebuilding? A current trend in architecture is the “New Old House,” a classically detailed home that creates a sense of history. New Old Homes use vernacular, or regionally appropriate, architecture. Vernacular architecture typically includes traditional, regional design features such as roof slope, window overhangs, and foundation type that were developed over time in response to local climates.
I think it’s safe to say last week’s RESNET Building Performance Conference was a success. There were over 1,000 attendees from around the country representing all facets of the construction industry.
Atlanta, like many cities across the country, is experiencing an urban revival. New homes and businesses are sprouting daily. The city’s population and economy are growing. Despite this tremendous economic activity, not all communities are benefiting equally and there is concern about a growing deficit of affordable housing. The Pittsburgh neighborhood was once the poster child for “left behind” communities, but today it seems finally poised for a resurgens of it's own.
Congratulations, you’ve landed a big multifamily project! Now the only thing you have to do is figure out the HERS Rating. Even for experienced HERS Raters the first multifamily Rating can be an intimidating endeavor. SK Collaborative is proud to partnering with EnergyLogic Academy to present "Performing Multifamily HERS Ratings" at the 2014 RESNET Conference in Atlanta, GA. This session will cover the ins and outs of multifamily building level and unit level HERS Ratings.
When people learn that I am a green building consultant, almost without exception, they ask me if I do a lot of work with solar power, which I don’t. I don’t install many solar power systems, either photovoltaic (the kind that creates electricity) or rhermal (the kind that creates hot water). I have been accused of being anti-solar because I often discourage people from focusing on PV on their homes, at least until they have done everything else to save energy, which they rarely bother to do.
When most people think about energy efficiency, once they stop talking about solar panels, they usually get to windows. “My windows are so old,” or “They’re only single pane glass,” or “I need to replace them,” and so on, much if it fueled by the replacement window industry selling the energy savings. Unfortunately, in most cases, those savings just aren’t there, at least not at the level at which they sell them.
I barely know who Paula Deen is, although from what I can tell, she seems to be quite the marketer of traditional southern cooking as well as herself. (I may be a little jealous of her self-promotion skills). Her latest big news is that after years of eating and promoting heavy, butter-laden food, she has gone public with her Type-2 diabetes, a condition she has had for three years. She only went public with her illness after she signed an endorsement deal with Novo Nordisk, a diabetes drug.
I’ve been involved, if somewhat peripherally, with the Home Performance industry for quite a while. I was one of the original group working on Home Performance with Energy Star in Atlanta quite a few years ago. As I learned more about this evolving field, I felt that it was both important and necessary, and thought that it had potential to be a profitable business model.