Monday, April 14, 2008

Where's Myleen (and other goodies: LEED-H certification for homes, SIPs weekend, LED lights)

I know I've been silent for some time, but for good reason. I am just waiting patiently for the money to hit the bank so we can get this party started! My champagne bottles are still chilling, and I'm waiting for the big day when we can sign our construction loan.

I had such a great weekend in Houston. First, the weather was unusually and pleasantly cool and dry, which is a rare treat in April. We were outside enjoying the weather in Kemah and staring at some sail boats that Jan wants to eventually get. My poor baby doesn't want much, but a boat is his goal. He's been perusing boat ads for weeks now. :-)

Then we saw Ted, who gave us some great information for getting your home LEED-H certified. If you go to this link, you can download an Excel spreadsheet to tabulate the number of points of your home to determine your certification level. You can go certified, gold, silver and platinum. Guess what we figured? Platinum!!! Woohoo! Although, I'm not sure I did it completely right. Anyway, this is thanks to high efficiency appliances, xeriscaping, geothermal, rainwater collection and site stewardship. I didn't realize that it doesn't cost all that much to get rated. Here's a chart:

We also went out to see Ted's other client's SIP home (Theresa). I have pictures for you to see of her house frame, which we'll post later with more details. She's compiling a list of "What Not to Do for a SIP Home" that I'm going to be following with great interest. It will be of tremendous help because we will be about 2 months behind them and so we can learn from their little hiccups, but it's going relatively smoothly so far! There are a few things to watch out for, because SIPs are so precise, you have to take extra care of how you lay it up and put it in. Check out her blog, as she has put in videos of her framing.

Also, we talked a lot about lighting and Jan wants to use white light LEDs on all the track lighting, and compact flourescents in the recess cans. Why LED? Because they are so much more energy efficient and don't get very hot like halogens. They have come out with SUPERLEDs that are even brighter than halogens! There are now dimmer switches for the LEDs that are relatively new on the market. Now all the above is super expensive unless you build your own, which of course, Jan wants to do. He is the self proclaimed do-it-yourselfer... he can't stand paying for something that he can do better, so we'll have a lot of his inventions around the house :-).

Besides all the above, we have a lot of business and marketing ideas brewing in our heads that will help promote SIPs, our green home and green building in general! I am working on getting our spec sheet, home article and ads out to home tours, building green mags, and other outlets. Stay tuned, because I want to get more people to build this way! Mail me if you want to learn more (free information).

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