Great green reads: Top 10 high performance home building articles for 2014

| by Gary Wollenhaupt
 Great green reads: Top 10 high performance home building articles for 2014

Here's a review of the top 10 articles on published in 2014. The analytics tell us that you, our readers, found these stories of green building achievement to be the most compelling for the year.

Take a look back at these stories that include renewable energy, home energy audits, home improvements, and inspirational green building projects that help set the tone for the market for years to come.

We included the opening paragraphs of these stories for your enjoyment, to read more, please click on the link in the headline of each story.

Thanks for a great 2014; we're looking forward to developing and disseminating even more knowledge for creating high performance homes in 2015.

10. Green building trends and technology at IBS 2014

The International Builders’ Show kicks off the building season for 2014 bringing together the best and brightest in the construction industry. It’s where builders and others in the industry learn about the latest trends in building homes and commercial buildings. attended the show, and spotted a few trends that will make their way to homes now or in the near future.

9. DOE recognizes Proud Green Home at Serenbe

The U.S. Department of Energy recognized the Proud Green Home at Serenbe as the first DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in the state of Georgia.

According to the DOE’s case study of the home, builder Luis Imery has built a home any homeowner would be proud of. The home, completed in August 2013, was a collaborative effort by builder Imery of The Imery Group, architect and building science consultant Chris Laumer-Giddens of LG Squared, Inc., Residential Design and Proud Green, an online publisher of green home information.

Proud Green asked Imery to construct its first “Proud Green Home” and brought in a dozen building products manufacturers as project partners. These partners supplied some of the high-performance and resource-efficient products used in construction of the 2,811-square foot modern home.

8.Top 10 haunted homes you can buy for Halloween

The cold autumn wind cuts through the twisted branches of a long-dead tree as you walk down the dark street. The bare twigs scrape eerily on the windowpane as lightning flashes in the distance. Out of the corner of your eye, a shadow moves. You turn to look, but the shadow is gone. You’re left standing, staring through the front window of an old abandoned mansion, across the street.

Tales of grisly murders surround the old place and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as the facade of the creepy old manse stares back at you. To your surprise, you see a ‘For Sale’ sign swinging slowly in the wind, through bursts of lightning. Do the walls of the master bedroom bleed at midnight, like you’ve heard? Or is it really just a classic Victorian, remodeled with contemporary fixtures and appliances and priced to sell? Are those bumps in the night dead demons walking the halls or the bass from the newly installed full-house stereo system?

The only way to find out the answer to this dark mystery is to dig into this year’s ‘Top Ten Haunted Homes for Sale’ list. One must be strong of heart when touring these homes where ghosts play and devils dance in the stories rumored about these estates. Everything from scary mansions to Dracula’s Castle to famous television show homes on this year’s list, so jump right in. If you dare!

7.Generate your own power with the latest renewable energy technology

As the green building boom grows, more building professionals and homebuyers are looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy into their homes.

For someone with a high-performance home, solar panels and wind power can take the home to the net-zero level of producing more energy than it uses. That’s becoming easier as building science helps reduce the electrical load on the home, which then makes it more affordable to generate the amount of electricity necessary to offset the usage in the home.

This exclusive feature from Proud Green Home explores some of the latest innovations in renewable energy for home use. Basically, it’s never been easier to generate power at home and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

6. Beat the heat and cold with a 60-minute DIY home energy audit

Since rising temperatures bring rising energy bills, ways to save on utility bills become top of mind – and a home energy audit is a great way to reduce costs and realize energy savings.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most people can conserve energy by making small upgrades around the home, which can result in a 5 to 30 percent savings on utility bills – and they are things homeowners can do themselves.

5. Why your electric bill is so high

Everyone nowadays is thinking in terms of “green.” Doing everything to ensure a brighter and cleaner earth for future generations. Volunteering, recycling and adorning anything that moves with solar panels to conserve energy.

Energy. The mysterious force that makes our world turn. It radiates from the sun and lightning, but can be found in the most mundane places like the washing machine and refrigerator.

From light bulbs to hair dryers to central air, nearly everything in a home uses energy, and nearly everything costs money. And you know things have gotten a little out of hand when your energy bill comes and you feel the need to unplug everything, pack up the family and move to a farm deep in the country. But this kind of extreme isn’t necessary, so slow down, cowboy, all that needs to be done is a simple cutback. Whether it be minor, or an all-out purge, it may help to reduce bills and conserve a little energy

Here are 10 reasons why your electric bill is so high, several of which you probably never expected:

4. Green builders collaborate to build high performance home

Following the success of the first Proud Green Home located near Atlanta, Georgia, a new high performance home, The Proud Green Home of St. Louis, is under construction to deliver sustainable benefits to its owners and to educate and inspire building professionals and consumers about the benefits of building and living green. has partnered with Hibbs Homes, Verdatek Solutions, Curtiss W. Byrne Architect, and the High Performance Buildings Research Center, part of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium at the University of Missouri-Columbia, to build the five-bedroom, 3,700 square-foot, Prairie-style home. Designed by architect Curtiss W. Byrne, the home in Wildwood, Missouri is expected to meet a number of prominent green building standards, including:

  • Energy Star for Homes
  • ANSI ICC-700 The National Green Building
  • DOE Zero Net Ready home
  • EPA Indoor airPlus
  • WaterSense

The home will undergo third-party verification to ensure its performance and quality.

3. Proud Green Home of St. Louis will inspire and educate on green residential construction

Following the success of the first Proud Green Home, the Proud Green Home of St. Louis, a sustainable home designed to meet an array of green building standards, is under construction to inspire and educate the market nationwide about the benefits of building green homes.

2. Green construction strategies for the best in building envelopes

When a homeowner or building professional searches for building products, there are many ways to go green. In addition to energy-saving options look for products with green attributes throughout the lifecycle of a product.

Where the product comes, how long it lasts, and what happens to it at the end of its life can just as big an impact on its performance as any energy it may save.

Building products made with recycled and recyclable materials are a great way to add an extra green element in an exterior product that might not otherwise influence the performance of a home.

1. How to choose energy efficient windows and doors

Heating and cooling costs are a big part of household's budget. According to Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency's energy conservation program, the average American household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of this going to heating and cooling costs.

You can take control of those costs by using high-performance, energy-efficient windows and doors in your home. These windows and doors, which are available for both new construction and replacement use, will help cut utility bills and make your home more comfortable.

Topics: Appliances, Building Green, Certification / LEED, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Exteriors, Geothermal Heating & Cooling, Going Green, Healthy Homes, Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Indoor Air Quality, Insulated Concrete Forms - ICF, Insulation, Interior Design, Lighting, Lumber and Structured Panels, Maintenance & Repair, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Product Reviews, Proud Green Home at Serenbe, Proud Green Home of St. Louis, Remodeling, Roofing, Sinks & Toilets, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Water Saving Devices, Windows

Companies: Sun Bandit, Cree Inc., Pella Corporation, Dow Building Solutions, Icynene Inc., Kohler, Rinnai, Marvin Windows and Doors, Kleendeck, LLC, Enertech Global, LLC, Fox Blocks, Benjamin Obdyke, Zehnder America, ACT D'MAND Systems, Rhino Linings, Solatube, STEP Warmfloor, EcoDrain, ProVia

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.

wwwView Gary Wollenhaupt's profile on LinkedIn

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