New Online Green Building Products Database

The USGBC and The Home Depot have partnered to generate a database of green building products at http://leed.homedepot.com/ that will contribute towards points in the LEED® for Homes rating system.  The database is currently a list of more than 2,500 products sold at The Home Depot stores and online.

The user interface is a rather simple one to use to locate products.  A dial listing product categories with a featured product will bring you to a list of all the products that could assist in LEED certification.

The database will be a good resource, for home builders, architects, designers and home owners in the material selection process of a new home or renovation projects of any size.  The only improvements I can really see that should be made to the database is how the products will assist in obtaining LEED points.  Most materials will be claimed under the Materials & Resources category, however it would be beneficial to highlight the environmentally friendly features such as Low VOC, FSC certified, or in general what makes it an Environmentally Preferred Product.

Green Home Construction On The Rise

Reports lately have been showing that green home new construction and remodeling are on the rise, with 17% or 17 Billion dollars worth of residential construction in 2011 with green remodeling & renovations surpassing new construction growth (article).  Sym-Home has been on the forefront of this movement in Ohio for almost a decade now.  Sym-Home was first created as an educational tool to help educate home owners how to “green” their home on a more modest budget before transitioning into a design & consulting business for homeowners, builders and architects.

Our roots started in Cleveland while working with Jim LaRue & at the time Cleveland Green Building Coalition, by developing the first Emerging Green Designers Symposium, which taught young aspiring architects such as myself how to design green/energy efficient homes and taking building science into account.  This symposium generated three home designs that were and are still being used by Cleveland organizations today.  When the move to Columbus, Ohio was made and our first home was purchased, this is when Sym-Home was born.  I also brought my drive, new found knowledge and dedication to a local non-profit and housing authority and volunteered a lot of time and services to produce the construction documents for what is Ohio’s first LEED for Homes Platinum Project.  Not to mention the first affordable platinum project in the Great Lakes Region.

Now green homes don’t have to be rated on a scale, they just need to be designed well, energy efficient and healthy for the occupants.  All considerations that are taken with every project when working with Sym-Home.

Site Visit – CSCC Academic Center E

After a couple of months of sitting in the office, I finally got a chance to go out to the jobsite for a project that I have been working on for the past 3 years.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by May of 2010, and we are targeting a LEED Gold certification for the project.

So here are a few photos that I thought I would share from my recent site visit.

Exterior

Exterior SunshadesMain EntrySecond Floor CorridorLearning Commons

Brutally Honest Attack on Homebuilders? 

I debated for a long time whether I should re-post this article or not, because it definitely belongs in the Burning Bridges category.  However this is not representative of all builders.  My primary reason for re-posting is for consumer education.  If one potential new home owner reads this and questions their builder on something/anything.  Then re-posting this was worth it.

Brutally Honest Attack on Homebuilders?

by Mr. Dorris via Consilience: The blog

As I have previously posted, the 20% of homebuilders who build 80% of all homes are not in the business of building homes, they are in the business of making money (increasing shareholder value) and, therefore, do not necessarily know how to build.

Continue reading the article at Consilence: The Blog

Attention to detail – Sill Sealer

Foam Sill Sealer/Capillary Break

Foam Sill Sealer/Capillary Break

A buildings durability and energy efficiency believe it or not can be greatly affected by some of the smallest and least expensive products out there, and sill sealer is one of these products.  As pointed out by James over at Greener Structures, approximately 90% of buildings today do not install a sill sealer or also known as a capillary break.

For a little over $5.00 you can buy a 50′ roll at most hardware stores and even online shops (here).  So you may be asking what the big deal is over a sill sealer.  Well the product was designed to reduce air infiltration between the top of your foundation wall and sill plate by filling in any gaps or cracks. This product can also be used for slab on grade applications as well where there will be some imperfections in the slab.

Read the rest of this entry »