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Member Articles

These articles are authored by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild members, leaders in the field of green and sustainable building, and provide in-depth knowledge and expertise.

These articles are authored by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild members, leaders in the field of green and sustainable building, and provide in-depth knowledge and expertise.

Reaching Net Zero Energy

by Zack Semke, Hammer & Hand. This article is based on Zack’s recent presentation for the NW EcoBuilding Guild’s “Net Zero Innovations” panel that took place in Seattle on October 22, 2014.

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A Best Practices Manual by Hammer & Hand

by Sam Hagerman, Hammer & Hand. In the spirit of collaboration we have recently made available our company’s Best Practices Manual — a guidebook of field-tested construction details, many shaped by our high performance building and Passive House construction experience.

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Trends in Quality, Sustainable Housing

by Molly Erin McCabe, A Kitchen That Works. How do you define home? For Ma & Pa Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, home was four walls and a roof that protected them from the elements. However, today’s home is much more than that – it is a sanctuary, a place to build community, to work, to play, as well as a place to express who we are and the values by which we live.

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Giving Remodeling the Green Light

by Jason Legat, Model Remodel. There’s an increasing buzz around green building – and for good reason. There are many benefits to revamping your home using the tools of the green building trade, including financial savings, improved home health, upgraded appearance and increased value.

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Home Is Where the Health Is

by Robin Rogers, Solarpedia. Beneath the veneer of many newly crafted homes and crusty old dwellings, hidden dangers often lurk, undetected, in the folds of our daily lives, including icky biological stuff such as mold and dust mites and scary chemicals like invisible radon gas, volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde. Homeowners Bryan and Tricia Smith uncovered such villains after a remodeling project in their former Yakima, Wash., home.

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Northwest Design Trends

by Molly Erin McCabe, A Kitchen That Works. Northwest Design Trends - The Top Most Notable Design Trends for Our Region

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Sunlight Grows Farm Power near Seattle

by Robin Rogers, Solaripedia.com. Tani Creek Farm in the Pacific Northwest uses sunlight for more than just growing vegetables. In the misty hills of Bainbridge Island, across Puget Sound from Seattle, Washington, a 25-acre biodynamic farm uses solar power for all its agricultural needs such as irrigation, water movement (pumped from ponds to other uses) and food production, as well as for residential purposes.

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Back Yard Cottages in Seattle

by Sloan Ritchie of Backyard Box & Cascade Built. As of December 2009, the city’s new Backyard Cottage ordinance allows Seattle homeowners to build a second dwelling unit in their backyard. Why? Backyard Cottages provide affordable city living, housing flexibility, family-friendly housing options for extended families, and contribute to sustainable urban density.

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An Energy Audit for Your Home or Business Is an Important First Step

by Bernie Miller and Jacqui Brown Miller of Quality Renovation & Carpentry. A professional energy audit is your first step to saving 25% or more on your utility bills and doing your part for the planet. An energy audit evaluates your space’s energy efficiency performance. It can pay for itself by helping you focus on the most cost-effective energy upgrades and weatherization improvements.

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New EPA LEAD Rules to Effect Residential Renovations

by Danielle Johnson, ADDO Real Estate. Beginning in April 2010 the EPA will require contractors performing work which disturbs lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 to be EPA certified renovators, follow specific lead safe work practices to prevent lead contamination, and provide homeowners with lead safe work practices documentation.

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Banishing the Bulldozer

by Ted Reiff, The ReUse People. Most homeowners, eager to experience their dream home, consider only demolition as the most efficient alternative. Demolishing a building means completely destroying it, using heavy machinery to knock down and crush it, condensing the materials as much as possible for transport to the landfill.

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The Impact of Reuse in the Construction Industry

by Dirk Wassink & Carrie Ferrence, Second Use Building Materials. Greenbuild certification processes like Built Green™ and LEED™ reward projects that recycle large quantities of waste during demolition and construction. If proper arrangements are made, onsite recycling can be an easy task.

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Dive In with Denim Insulation

by Kylie Loynd, The Polishing Stone. Would you let a kid take a flying leap into a pile of insulation? Ours did, into a non-toxic product called UltraTouch. We’d read an article about the manufacturer, Bonded Logic in Chandler, AZ, that has 25 years of insulation experience, and the next day picked some up at Seattle’s Environmental Home Center.

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What is a Green Home?

by Ben Kaufman, of GreenWorks Realty. The vast majority of today’s green homes are visually indistinguishable from conventional homes. The difference is in the details. Green homes feature healthier indoor air quality, optimize energy and water efficiency, help promote a cleaner environment, and reduce our ecological footprint.

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House As A System

by Bruce Sullivan, Earth Advantage, Inc. How can your choice of a clothes washer affect the quality of air inside your house? Of all the decisions made during a residential construction project, this one seems trivial. However, in modern houses, individual elements are related in ways that you may not think about at first. Getting the complete picture requires that you think about the "house as a system".

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Imagine the world if...

by Ecohaus in acceptance of King County Green Globe Award. Ecohaus believes that by switching to sustainable building practices the world could stretch our natural resources further, diminish the occurrence of many chronic health problems, promote the growth of local economies, and decrease the release of harmful greenhouse gasses.

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Book Review of The Northwest Green Home Primer

by Cate O'dahl of ESP Services. If you have picked up the NW EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Pages, then you should probably go and get your own copy of The Northwest Green Home Primer, by the Guild’s very own Kathleen O’Brien (first elected Board of Directors 1993) and her co-author, Kathleen Smith.

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Can High Tech Equal High Environmental Impact?

by Jennifer Griffin, Architechtronics. You might think that integrating technology into a home would be the exact opposite of green. With advances in home control systems, it gets easier for automatic control over lighting, temperature, smart irrigation, and even energy management. The result is a solution that works month-after-month, conserving precious resources like energy, water, and time.

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Pushing the Energy Envelope in Bellevue “Zero Energy Idea Home

by Shirey etal. Whether it’s to save money, cut our dependence on foreign oil, or slow the effects of global warming, homeowners are increasingly interested in energy efficiency. The team behind a new demonstration project on West Lake Sammamish Parkway in Bellevue hopes to give them lots to think about.

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Building A Green Kitchen

by Bob Margulis, Ravenworks Joinery. Congratulations, you have decided that your green remodel will include a new kitchen! This article is designed to help you understand what that means and make you a more informed consumer. Before we look at the details of kitchens, your new kitchen will sit in a ‘shell’ and have energy issues that are larger than your kitchen (i.e. insulation, windows, water and space heating, framing, roofing, foundation).

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