Tag Archives: green contractors in Newton MA

Best Energy-Efficient Practices for Zero Net Homes

Zero net energy homes are designed to generate all the energy they need, providing superior monthly cost savings on electrical bills while reducing stress on the local power grid. Here is a brief zero net home checklist that includes some best practices for energy efficiency with this type of home.
  • Seal it airtight: Create a thorough seal that prevents any air or energy leaks that could reduce the structure’s energy efficiency. Make sure that there are no openings where conditioned indoor air could escape or seasonal outdoor air could get in.
  • Superinsulate the structure: Insulate the structure well beyond the recommended R-value for your geographical area. R-value indicates how well the insulation resists the flow of heat and is an indicator of how effective the insulation will be.
  • Use energy-recovery ventilation: An airtight home will need mechanical ventilation to get rid of stale air and bring in fresh air. Use heat-recovery or energy-recovery ventilators that use exhaust air to heat or cool incoming air. This will reduce the stress on your HVAC system as it heats or cools incoming air to the temperature you prefer.
  • Generate hot water with installed equipment: Water heating is a major expense in most homes. Use your existing heat pump or solar power installation to heat water for residential use.
  • Install high-efficiency windows and doors: Install triple-glazed windows or windows with energy-saving features such as low-e glass. Make sure the areas around the window and door frames are thoroughly sealed to prevent air leaks or drafts.
Sage Builders LLC is a general contractor in Newton, MA, specializing in design-build and construction services for residential customers in Boston and the surrounding communities. Contact us today for more information on zero net homes and for more factors to add to your zero net home checklist.

Green Homes Grabbing Hold in the Real Estate Market

As more home buyers recognize the benefits of green homes, these energy-efficient structures are becoming more and more popular in the residential real estate market. Green homes and real estate professionals are forging an ongoing partnership that benefits everyone involved in the transaction.
Green homes are residential structures that are designed to be highly energy efficient, reducing energy usage and slashing monthly energy costs. They are usually well insulated, well sealed, and outfitted with the most recent high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. Green homes often incorporate renewable energy features as well as energy-saving elements. Solar panels, for example, are popular features of a green home. These panels allow homeowners to generate most or all of the energy they need from the sunlight that naturally falls on their homes. In the Boston area, real estate professionals are seeing a high demand for green homes, both for their money-saving features and for their environmentally beneficial characteristics. High-efficiency retrofits of existing homes are common, as are new construction that takes advantage of green concepts and features from the beginning of the structure’s functional life. Real estate professionals will benefit from understanding the connections between green homes and real estate and how the market works for those looking for high-efficiency sustainable residences. For example, industry sources report that homes with solar power installations typically sell for a substantial premium over homes without solar energy generating equipment. Both home sellers and real estate agents will see better financial return on green homes when they’re sold. Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, is a design-build specialist serving the needs of residential customers in the Boston area. Contact us today for more information on green homes and real estate and how energy-efficient, sustainable housing is becoming more appealing to residential real estate customers.

Incorporate a Roof Overhang to Curb Energy Cost & Usage

Passive cooling offers homeowners many effective ways to cut cooling costs and reduce energy usage while still maintaining excellent home comfort. One of the most effective techniques of passive cooling recommended by Sage Builders involves shading your windows against sunlight. You can provide substantial amounts of shading by adding roof overhangs and materials to your home.

Effects of Sunlight

When sunlight comes through your windows, it increases the temperature inside your home. In winter this can be a benefit, but in summer, heat gain from sunlight decreases the comfort level of your living environment. Additional heat can also make your cooling system work harder than necessary, increasing your energy bills and adding extra wear and tear to your HVAC equipment.

Roof Overhangs and Materials

In combination with other passive cooling techniques, roof overhangs can significantly reduce cooling costs and improve indoor comfort.
  • Visual appeal: Roof overhangs can increase the visual appeal of your home. As an architectural feature, they can be an impressive addition to the building’s structure.
  • Solar panels: Some roof overhang projects incorporate solar panels that generate electrical power for use in the home. Since the overhangs are intended to shield the windows from sunlight, they will receive plenty of light for power generation.
  • Cool roofs: You can choose a white-colored material for your roof overhang to increase the cooling effect. White roofs reflect sunlight away from your home, which helps keep the interior cooler. Painting roofs with a white or reflective coating material can have the same effect.
Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, provides design-build, construction, and consulting services for customers in the Boston area and surrounding communities. Contact us today for more information on roof overhangs and materials and how a roof overhang can improve indoor comfort and reduce your energy expenses.

The Future of Home Design: The Zero Net Energy Home (ZNE)

For many new homeowners, energy conservation and sustainability are two of the more important elements they want in their residence. For these clients, the zero net energy (ZNE) home can provide the energy savings they want while still creating an elegant, comfortable residential setting.

What are Zero Net Energy Homes?

A zero net energy home is a residence that consumes only as much energy as it can produce using renewable energy techniques and equipment. A ZNE home does not use electrical power from the local energy grid. ZNE homes typically use solar power installations as a major source of energy generation, but they also incorporate other sustainable technologies and energy conservation measures that significantly affect energy consumption.

Sustaining a Zero Net Energy Home

Some areas of the country, such as California, have fully embraced the concept of the zero net energy home. As the concept continues to spread across the country, homeowners in other areas of the country will find ways to sustain a ZNE home. These can include:
  • Installing high-efficiency HVAC systems: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems can significantly reduce energy demands while keeping a home comfortable in all seasons.
  • Installing efficient windows: Installing double-pane or triple-pane windows can reduce air leaks around windows while decrease energy requirements.
  • Using programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats and other control technologies allow you to precisely control the operation of your heating and cooling system.
  • Reducing overall energy waste: Power strips, timers, motion sensors, and other technologies can shut off energy-consuming equipment and lights when not in use.
A general contractor in Newton, MA, Sage Builders LLC provides expert residential design, construction, and renovation services to clients in and around Boston. Contact us today for more information on zero net energy homes and how they are growing in popularity throughout the United States.