Green Assessment Potential Score GAPScore for Homes

Welcome! From the Founder and CEO, Steve Pohlman

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Common Sustainable Features in Homes

The best energy usage techniques.

At the time your house was built, the developer and builder wanted to provide a top quality product with the latest techniques possible.  Years of training and trail and error went into the design of your home.  The most important thing a builder wants to do is to sell the finished product. So, they add viewable amenities and non-viewable amenities.  These amenities are attributes that create a more comfortable environment which is a long standing philosophy to sell homes. 
Everyone knows that the easiest way to save energy with home design is to have LEDs and advanced lighting systems, such as a Smart Home or timed security system. That's the "low hanging fruit.  The exterior of the house and interior fixtures should have timer's on light fixtures where there's no refracted sunlight or light source. Closets, hallways and bathrooms without windows can use motion sensors combined with timers to limit energy use.

Everybody in the world knows that solar powered 
fixtures and appliances are really the simplest green way.  
When you have a solar PV system for 100% of your electrical needs, then there's no question about the type of electrical light bulb or appliances used with the exception of those with contaminants, like mercury.   The energy bill is the price of the solar panel system that you paid for out of pocket, with a loan in monthly payments, or in your mortgage with a good impact on your fixed energy costs and the environment. 100% of your electricity needs include night time needs in which this case there is a battery system to store energy.  So, as long as the sun continues to shine, your can leave all of your lights on all night long.  
But, the less energy you require will depend on the cost of the PV solar system size, so you have 9 volt wiring for LED advanced lighting and a single transformer with computer timer for management.  The selection of appliances that are EnergyStar or 3Star rated that are only electrical systems are a great advantage for emissions reductions and qualify you as net zero ready.

There's more to energy than electricity. 
The solar thermal panel system that provides hot water for drinking, showering, and main radiant heating is very effective in almost every region.  However, there should be a backup system for most solar applications and most municipalities still require conventional systems with a connection to a utility.  Passive solar gain is prevalent in every structure.  The early modern architects used this energy to improve comfort and reduce resource use during times of economic crisis.  The orientation of your house is a situation that is out of your control unless you plan to rebuild, but that's not the green way to do things unless there's no other option.  The advantages of past architectural attributes like roofs over decks and enclosed entryways to the exterior are upgrades that provide sun protection while absorbing solar gain and reduce energy use during the hot seasons and increased heat in winter months.  Any material that is direct sunlight absorbs thermal solar energy from infrared rays that can penetrate the structure through transparent material like window openings and decrease energy needs. Window placements are usually planned at the original build and usually not changed.  With very little window placements facing the sun like those in hot climates, the solar gain in direct sunlight is immense and beneficial for passive solar panel applications.  The solar panels provide shade for the building material and further decreases the solar gain temperatures in the wall.

Energy is passive and active.  
Energy is natural gas, oil, bio fuels, propane, renewables other than solar like wind, active and passive geothermal, heat pumps, hydronic radiant systems, structural thermal properties, appliance heat source, flue heat sources, fireplaces, lighting, solar, and cooking heat.  People and large pets are also heat sources.  But, if we're all about green design of a property, people and pets are a variable and lifestyle becomes a variable to measuring the true efficiency of our personal energy use. When the building uses direct sunlight as passive solar energy to heat and cool itself without any human or mechanical intervention, that's an energy efficient green design with the potential to be be efficient, if the owner has the discipline and lifestyle to maintain the property as designed.
The house in the picture is highly energy efficient, because it's able to control and contain the heat sources and cooling properties of the structure through a passive solar designed, airtight, insulated thermal envelope, and air control systems designed by architect Tom Bassett.  
The owner of the house, Peter wanted to build a home that had as little environmental impact as possible while creating a highly energy efficient model.  

There's nothing too good for the family.  
When I asked him why he had the old house removed and built an entirely new structure, Peter replied, "The original was a tear down, the builder used portions of it to build this Passive House Certified house." 
Then he smiled to say, "And, I love my family very much. I want the very best for the people who love me, too."
Before the finished landscaping this home GAPScored at 60+, definitely green and on it's way to a 70+ GAPScore dark green in 2015.  
How do I know this? Because, I GAPScore verified it myself.

For more information on home energy conservation see an energy auditor or try these links:

Conserve Energy at Home - Stop wasting money -‎

    Find the best options with our tailored guide.

Home Energy Conservation - Cases, Reports & Fact Sheets -‎

    Find recent publications on sustainable construction & energy efficiency polices

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Energy Saver Guide: Tips on Saving Money and Energy at Home ...

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Energy-Efficient Home Design | Department of Energy

Energy.govEnergy .... The Score reflects the energy efficiency of a home based on the home's structure and heating, cooling, and hot water systems. ... You'll save energy and money, and your home will be more comfortable and durable.