Peak Carbon Emissions !?!

Peak Carbon Emissions !?!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the work that the Global Carbon Project is doing to help us understand the problem of carbon dioxide emissions.  It’s a heavily nuanced problem, without direct causality that is relatable to everyone.  That’s why there’s such disagreement on this issue — many people need to see it with their own eyes to believe something.  And that’s impossible to do to everyone’s satisfaction with this issue. Great […]

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

Our Electric Vehicle Decision

With so many variables, it’s hard to decide on an EV.  Here’s what we grappled with in our decision to (Spoiler Alert) lease a 2016 Nissan Leaf: 1.       Range anxiety (at 110 miles per charge, is that enough for our family?) 2.       Understanding federal and state incentives 3.       Degradation in battery life over time – how real is this? 4.       Drive-ability 5.       Room for 5 people comfortably? 6.       Newer models […]

Official Recognition of our Green-ness

Official Recognition of our Green-ness

The Build it Green rating system helped guide our remodel project from start to finish.  During the design phase, we went through the GreenPoint Rated scoring criteria one by one, selecting which credits we wanted to build into our project.  The checklist pointed out some ideas we never would have thought of on our own, and helped us cut through the universe of possibilities and focus in on areas that […]

Go See the Solar Decathlon!

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon – College Students Competing for a Clean Energy/Cool House Future For the next two weekends, there are 14 creatively efficient small homes on display at the Great Park in Irvine, CA.  Sponsored by the DOE, the Solar Decathlon challenges teams of students to create sub-1000sf homes that: Cost less than $250,000 to build Have systems that heat, cool, run appliances, provide hot water and […]

Shading Windows & Passive Solar Design-UPDATED

Shading Windows & Passive Solar Design-UPDATED

  Whether you think of it as common sense shading, or if you treat it as a scientific approach to energy efficient passive solar design, every new and remodeled home project should carefully consider these principles: Orient the house to the Sun, if possible.  Allow for exposure to the southern sky to heat the house in Winter.  Minimize direct solar gain to the East and West through tree plantings and […]

Extra Footage from KTLA-5 News

We were honored to host Gayle Anderson and her Channel 5 News truck at our house in June.  Gayle is a dynamo, working without a Producer, without a script, and switching seamlessly from talking to people in front of her to briefing the anchors in the studio on what’s coming next.  Her pink iPhone is all she needs to coordinate her broadcasts, and she and her cameraman edit the footage […]

Net Zero Energy Home Tour: Sunday, June 7, 1-3 pm

The Net Zero Nest is finally done! Please join us for a tour and see how we transformed our 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath 1957 ranch into a 4 bedroom, 3 bath open concept family home without adding any square footage. We added air conditioning and lowered our annual energy usage by 60%. And we are on track for achieving net zero energy. If you are planning a remodel or curious […]

Before & After Pics

We are so pleased with the transformation of the house that we thought we would share some before and after pictures.  Our architects from OpenHAUS Design devised a great open floor plan tailored to how our family lives.  And our builder, Hardey Construction, was very careful to ensure that the reclaimed wood ceiling terminated flush at each end and at the peak, so that the great room really works.

What is that Giant Sucking Sound?

What is that Giant Sucking Sound?

We set out on this energy-efficient remodel to prove that it didn’t have to cause a giant sucking sound in your wallet.  To do it right, though, all energy-efficient remodels should conduct a blower door test of air-tightness, we’ve decided, after discovering its diagnostic power this week.  This was a literal giant sucking sound in our house as we neared completion. The blower door test pulls air through the house […]

Kudos to Energy Upgrade California

Kudos to Energy Upgrade California

It was a privilege to meet with the Energy Upgrade California program directors to talk about energy efficient remodeling this week.  These sharp young people are clearly passionate about their mission, and are doing more to encourage homeowners to incorporate energy efficiency into their projects than just about anyone.  They carved out part of their busy meeting to hear our experiences working with the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program, what’s […]