Hi, I am looking into energy efficient homes, trying to absorb as much
as possible about the various technologies out there but am a bit
overwhelmed. I have "interviewed" a few local (NC) architects and
*I* seem to know more about the technologies (not necessarily cutting
edge either) than they do (not encouraging).
Is there a way to find architects (like maybe an association of home
architects) that specialize in this field?
Any help here would be *really* appreciated!
Interesting, I'm lookin at this now, might be of some use to you:
A few from my Favorites list:
Also, the link at the top called "+140 categories" has additional links
Google: sustainable architecture, green architecture, and the like.
This might also be intereesting to you. Even tho' the site is about one
particular house, there are diagrams, links, ideas, and other bits of info
you might find informative:
You've got to shop around.
But you have an advantage over the usual consumer: information.
Make a list of questions that can only be answered by architects that are
energy savvy. Phone interview them until you find 2 or 3 that are interested
in energy efficiency (they're the ones that are savvy, otherwise they
wouldn't care and wouldn't know).
You find an architect just like you find a contractor: interview until you
find a good fit (reputation, price, and personality). The best way is by
referral. See if there have been any awards given for energy efficient homes
and see who designed them. Call the companies who make the products and ask
who specs their stuff and who buys it. Ask your local building inspector if
any EE homes have been built in the area and get the name of the owners.
Research and legwork. Can't beat it.
I think there is a certification in Environmental design...LEEDS or
something, that you could ask about. Not sure if it is much better than
Microsoft certification, but it might point you to architects who think
about that sort of thing. Course I could be wrong about this, anyone
else care to chime in?
If you manage to choose a technology or product line first, that
manufacturer may be able to give local installer references but if you are
unsure what you want and need help evaluating choices, you are on the right
track. Try some of those "find a contractor" websites and see if they come
up with someone.
i read a book years ago called "solar heating & cooling". it was a
compilation of patents published to show ideas. i browsed it to
generally get ideas. ~ 25 years ago.
so downstream a few years i see a home that happens to have very good
passive solar elements. so i bought it & added solar electric to help
the house a little bit.
passive elements - in southern califfornia - work very well so solar
electric can be used for the basics.
if the house doesn't really GET hot, you don't need AC so much.
the house runs east-west with oversize roof eves. in the summer we
have about 3 to 4 foot of shade all around the house. in the winter,
with the lower sun angle, we get solar heat.
plaster walls & ceiling help keep the home at a semi-steady state
temperature. generally cool, toward ground temperature.
open the windows at night, cool down the house. close them in the
morning, use good insulation. oposite in the winter.
to help your question, try searching for this solar heating & cooling
book, online or in a library. or key words like passive & active
you'll just need to do a long search in your area for architects that
know anything about solar - passive ideas as well as active ideas.
Try the green building council in your area. They typically have great
for Architects that participate and can help you with technologies, builder
here's some links for review:
home design plan links:
I've discovered that most products don't really work quite as advertised.
I've discovered that many of the ideas work in a very narrow climate
band. Some things just don't work at all in central Minnesota.
I've discovered that the cost is often greater than people want to pay.
I've discovered that the most people aren't willing to live with the
I've discovered that Realtors look down on the stuff and that they claim
its terrible for "resale."
I have tried to get clients to go that direction and have all but
abandoned my efforts.
I'd love to have a client that was truly interested in it...and
understood the implications.
I've found that the pay back is often not there........what is the sense of
spending boat loads of money when the pay back is 50 years?
I've found that passive design is far more practical than all the "gadgets"
I realize that this approach, as it stands today, can be quite
expensive. Especially when talking about the gadget aspect. Don't you
think its feasible that this will change in the future? I don't think
the current expense alone makes this approach invalid, just out of
reach for most. Maybe we should just be a little patient with it. The
consumer affordability aspect will eventually catch up in the long run.
I'm not so sure... Solar has been "just around the corner" for 30+
years with little significant change in net cost to the consumer.
Residential Fuel Cells have been "just around the corner" for at least
10 years (I tried to get on a test program with little success --
"they're not ready yet" I've been told for 7 years). Almost every
technology hyped in the past 2 decades has failed to actually make
When you look at other technologies and their advancement in the same
time period, it's clear that either there is something vastly
conspiratorial going on OR nobody has figured it out because it's not
nearly as simple as we would want to believe it should be. Heck...a guy
from MIT has been working on synthetic photosynthesis for 20+ years with
very little success (the idea being if plants can do it, why can't we?).
In the long term, we're all dead.
I do agree with you about the pace of the development. Maybe its a
case of lack of importance/income generated or maybe some technologies
are just being "held" back by more established, competing industries.
Combination of both? I'm not talking about conspiracy theories, just
good old trying to maintain your market share.
Kind of reminds me of the development of more fuel efficient/alternate
fuel vehicles. sssssssllloooooowwwwwww.
My answer: The Illuminati are behind it.
Well, there you go spoiling my day. Now I need to get out and shoot
some golfballs into the woods to clear my head.(see your other thread
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