Energy Efficiency

The Passive House

A new house built to the Passive House Institute US standard.

Shipping Container Homes

Interest in adapting the shipping container esthetic for home design is a growing trend.

Architect Visit

Architect/Sculptor/Furniture Designer Olle Lundberg's cabin in the Northern California woods.

Solar Panel Primer

Pros and cons for installing solar panels.

Best Energy-Smart Home

A Maine architect designs Michigan's first certified Passive House to be rooted in tradition.

Energy Saving Tips

How to save energy in your home without a major retrofit.

Adult Crib Cabin

A getaway cabin prototype inspired by farm structures and built at the Strathmore Mansion in North Bethesda, Maryland.

Energy Mistakes

5 mistakes to avoid when building your energy-efficient home.

Energy Efficieny Tips

Energy efficient design through common sense approaches to seals, HVAC, water use, and the selection of appliances and fixtures.

Eco-lighting & Windows

Selecting the right windows and lighting is essential for an energy-efficient home.

Straw Bale Construction

Straw bale building now part of national building code -- basic information about this construction method.

Performance Windows

High performance windows and doors are key elements in the passive design of the Karuna House.

Efficient Home

Building an energy efficient house begins with orientation to the sun and taking advantage of thermal mass.

Straw Bale Cabin

A new house in a rugged and isolated location is designed for energy independence.

Passive Soar Strategies

Cost-effective ways to use passive solar heating to warm your new home.

Radiant Heat Options

Explaining how electric and hydronic radiant heat in floors works, and the basic ways to use it.

LED Bulb News

Newsflash: 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs are no more.The new LED replacements last much much longer.

Bungalow by Susanka

Announcing Sarah Susanka's innovative new 2 bedroom 2 bath Not So Big Bungalow plan.

Contemporary Cottage

An innovative cottage plan by architect Nir Pearlson.

Net Zero Energy House

Touring the energy-efficient, light-filled house of husband-and-wife architectural team Buzz Yudell and Tina Beebe.

Water Conservation

New technologies and products for conserving water at home.

Super Efficient House

Six key elements work together to make this house appealing: insulation for an R-50 SIP wall assembly and an R-60 foundation; triple-glazed windows; diligent air-sealing; minimized risk of thermal bridging; attention to indoor-air quality; and a super-insulated slab foundation that picks up heat during the day and releases it slowly at night.

Waste Heat Recovery

Waste heat recovery is a possible way to achieve net zero at home. Jeff Wilson investigates a holistic approach.

Roof Vents

Differing opinions about the need for a ridge vent from several builders.

Green Product Websites

Resource Guide for eco-friendly home building, from awnings and solar power to low VOC paints and water conservation.

LED Lighting

How LEDs (Light-Emitting Diodes) work, why they are more efficient than traditional lighting, where to install them.

Off-Grid Cabins

Four new off-the-grid cabin plans by Mark Iacocca.

Green Materials

A round-up of eco-friendly materials and finishes for the new home.

Recycled Materials

A brief history of recycling -- from Ancient Romans re-purposing an Egyptian obelisk to a 21st century architect using parts of a 747 for a new house.

Green Building

Here are new twists on energy efficiency: eco-friendly demolition, and recycling construction materials as-you-build so there's no waste...

Energy Saving

You’ve swapped your incandescent lightbulbs for compact fluorescents, turned down your water heater, and set up your programmable thermostat. These are all good moves toward saving energy in your home, but what else can you do?

Solar Water Heaters

In recent years, water issues have become a very hot topic. Water shortages throughout the western United States, as well as severe droughts in the southern, have made water usage a major concern. Many green building experts agree that with a growing global population we can no longer rely only on water conservation. Even for residents in gloomy states, solar panels can greatly reduce power costs, let alone carbon footprints. In fact, because of solar power success in Germany, the state of Washington (a state that receives overcast days 65% of the year) decided to copy Germany’s solar financial incentive programs. Let’s take a closer look at some factors to consider before making a purchase decision.