Residential Green Architecture - Frequently Asked Questions Part 2

December 26, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

There's lots of talk about green building - but what does it really mean for your project?  We've been impressed with many improvements in our industry that have come from the sustainability movement, often referred to as green building.  However, not everything that's promoted as green makes sense.  Here is the second half of my article on residential green architecture and the frequently asked ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Sustainable Water Solutions - Green Building (Part 1)

November 2, 2012 by: Aurora McClain

  GREEN BUILDING As the newest member of the Heimsath staff, I have been offered the opportunity to share some of my interests through this blog. Since I am particularly interested in green building, I wanted to kick off with a series on sustainable water solutions. A little background may be helpful to explain my interest in sustainability. I grew up on a farm in Vermont where waste was closely ... Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Solar Panels -- A First Report

April 9, 2012 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Solar Panels on the Front roof Area There is a 5.76 KW solar array on the Purple Heron House.  Given that the house is a 5-star rated (or will be when Autsin Green Building finishes its process), we looked into Solar as a way to make the house even more effiecient (with the current efficiencies of the solar panels, it is usually better to conserve first and then look to generation).  At the time ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Technology / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Design

Building Preservation Is Greenest!

January 31, 2012 by: Ben Heimsath

Which building is the greenest?  How about the one you already own? The results of a ground-breaking study were released last week by The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The data shows for the first time how an old building stacks up against a potential replacement building.  Even a highly efficient new green building doesn't pay off compared to a renovated or upgraded existing ... Read More

Worship Space / Adaptive Re-use / Architects and Construction / Historic Preservation / Sustainable Design

LED Lighting Comparison -- Using It NOW!!

December 11, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

LED lighting is improving in comparison to other technologies.  When we consider light output, color temperature, and color rendering, the LED lights are an equal or better choice (if you don't know these terms, here's a link to my article on lighting technology).  It is well past the time where this is really newsworthy, but I would like to share some of the latest ways we have successfully ... Read More

Church Design & Construction / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building Tip -- Hot Water

August 20, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Here is the latest video blog post I did with Matt Risinger.  This time we are discussing hot water systems for residential construction.  In this post we talk about using an AO Smith Vertex tank heater versus a tankless water heater and using a demand pump and a trunk line system for hot water delivery.   Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building Tip -- HVAC and Dehumidification

August 16, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Here is a video Matt Risinger and I shot for his video blog on Residential Green Building.  In this video we are looking at using as separate dehumidification unit to help control humidity and thus use the house AC units more efficiently. Here is a link to his blog.  He has lots of really useful information here--and if you look carefully, you can see more of me as well! Risinger Blog Read More

Austin / Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Green Building Design Tip -- Coaxing the Wind

August 5, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Given that is is August and Austin has hit 107 the last couple of days (not to mention over 100 for the past 19 days), I am not sure it will ever be used, but the new house has a couple of interesting features to help coax in a nice cool breeze. They probably work now, but that would basically turn the house into a convection oven... View of the house from the Southeast -- the direction of the ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Design: Solar Shade Studies

May 29, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Real vs. Study Shot of the Solar Shading on May 28 at 3:00      Part of designing green buildings, whether it be residential design or commercial design, is properly shading the windows so that you let the sun's heat in when you want it and block it when you don't.  Fortunately (or not, as we have already hit 100° this summer), in the Texas climate, it is mostly a battle to shade the windows.   ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Architects and Construction / Sustainable Design

Residential Design -- Trim Details

April 9, 2011 by: Eric Mac Inerney

Much of what designates a home as modern style, craftsman style, victorian style, georgian style, etc. are the details--especially how the windows are treated, how the juncture where the wall meets the ceiling and where the wall meets the floor is treated, and how special items are done.  By the way, if you ever need a good book on this, pick up a copy of "A Field Guide to American Houses" by ... Read More

Residential Design & Construction / Sustainable Design