Sun-Inspired Construction Elements
With sun-inspired, passive solar homes, the following elements should be considered while constructing the home with a trusted builder and third party home energy rater, if available.
Builders & Home Energy Professionals
Choose ones that are open minded, experienced and trustworthy
Discuss and understand the construction details and Custom Energy Specs for the climate
Air Infiltration & Moisture Control
Caulk and seal air leaks in the foundation, walls and roof and verify with blower door testing.
Construction Details & Materials
Review the options in the Construction Prints and specs on glass, insulation, roofs, foundations and wall.
Assure that the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) subcontractor prepares design load calculations for heating, cooling and fresh air systems reflective of a high performance homes that use less energy due to passive solar energy, increased insulation, and less air infiltration.
Lighting and Appliances
Select low energy bulbs, Energy Star appliances, and water heaters appropriate for the home owner.
Construction Costs & Energy Savings
Evaluate the budget and choose appropriate systems according to the home owner's values and priorities.
Alternative Construction, Etc.
Consider and research options for non-conventional, location specific, ideas, methods and materials that may be presented by the builder and home energy professional.
Healthy Home Materials
Identify the level of the home owner’s sensitivities and select materials accordingly.
Save hot water, water consumption overall and discover desires such as roof water collection and cisterns.
Construct for initial or future integration of a solar hot water system and photovoltaic panels.
(See Chapter 3 of The Sun-Inspired House for elaboration on these construction elements for high-performance, low-energy homes.)