It is sometimes good to remind ourselves, while we listen to campaigning about the energy crisis, that things are in fact changing to better acomodate the energy difficulties that beset us. For example a town house development on Capital Hill boasts
The REM modeling shows the buildings will perform 30 to 40 percent better than 2004 International Energy Code and the tight envelopes will allow leakage of only 0.215 to 0.25 air changes per hour. Beyond the technical aspects of the project, gProjects paid great attention to the overall site layout and achieved high quality community design. By limiting parking to the exterior areas of the site and through detailed planning, the project has provided for several communal areas, including a pea patch, “the canyon”, and a shared bike shed.
This development is described in detail at the website BuiltGreen, which is run by the Master Builder’s Association of King County and Snohomish County. Check out the site to see news, past newsletters and information about building green. Hopefully the market will catch on to this more than it has, as only 786 new certified homes have been built this year.
At this time there is a conference in Minnesota. This one does not seem to be attracting the attention of recent activity in the state but will have a noticeable impact on new housing nonetheless. There is a conference to determine what changes will be recommended to the building code. One one side are reformists who want state of the art energy saving requirements and on the other are builders who argue that there has not been sufficient research to verify the energy savings or that the some of the changes would not be cost justified.