April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Earth Day, Happy Birthday to You

120421-earth-dayToday is the 43rd Earth Day, so thank you Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI)!  How should Burbed celebrate Earth Day?  Let’s talk green houses. 

Hold your stones, I don’t mean glass houses.  I mean green, as in sustainable.  Green as in energy efficiency.  Green as in non-polluting, or at least less polluting.  And green as in whatever you left in the fridge is no longer before its time.

Berkeley architect attains enegy [sic] self-sufficiency in 1,800-square-foot home

Michael Freeze, BlockShopper.com, on SFGate.com
Sunday, April 15, 2012

120421-camelia-office

When Chris Parlette, an architect by trade, went green with his Berkeley home, holding back wasn’t an option.

Parlette took his 800-square-foot home, built in 1920, and turned it into a solar-powered building that spanned more than 1,800 square feet. He described his idea of green residential living as a way of pushing the envelope to energy efficiency.

"Being an architect, I spent of lot time thinking of what I wanted to do with other clients’ houses," Parlette said of his home, located at 1147 120421-camelia-kitchenCamelia St. "Gelling these architectural ideals I had, I wanted to put it into practice with this home with mainly solar and green ideas."

A 3.2-kilowatt photovoltaic solar electric system in the form of panels brings power to the home, and it actually provides more electricity than Parlette needs. Aside from the abundance of power, the home, he rightfully noted, also is aesthetically pleasing.

There’s glass aplenty in this Berkeley home, and you’ll definitely hit the solar panels if you toss rocks at the roof.

120421-camelia-outsideYou can see more about the home over on the agent’s website, and there are even more pictures if you head over to Redfin and admire the listing.  But rather than splat out the nitty gritty details ($799K), let’s just use this house to start a discussion on how energy efficient your own home is, or is not.

Newer homes are not necessarily greener, either.  Not only is a lot of new construction done with shoddy materials and plenty of corner-cutting, but isn’t it greener to move into an existing home rather than have a new one built for you?  There are over 1.1 million empty dwelling units in California per the 2010 Census.  That’s 8.1 percent of all California homes.

Are you considering any energy improvements such as better insulation or putting in solar panels?  Is your house a lean, clean, green machine or is it a giant carbon sink?

Discuss your home, or particularly good or bad examples of sustainable energy in homes, or how you’re celebrating Earth Day, or anything else you’d like in this Open Thread.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am