For the past two days, the 15th Annual New York State Green Building Council brought together experts from the field to discuss the latest trends and advancements. A discussion on green home building designs was held Friday morning. The Owner of Unity Homes, Tedd Benson of New Hampshire, designs energy efficient homes with an array of solar panels based on how much power they’ll draw. His formula for larger homes built in colder climates requires about 7 kilowatts per square foot.
"We can then power those homes entirely with a 7 to 8 kilowatt photovoltaic array. That’s pretty practical," Benson said. "So that means all buildings built to that code could get to net zero relatively easily."
Benson says that’s also factoring in home appliances and other energy needs. He feels there’s need for long-term green building codes in the U.S. through 2030 for a more sustainable footprint.
"The code is based on getting the heating and cooling down – so that’s energy conservation – to a very low level, but also adding in, you know, all the energy that’s used in the house so that renewable energy can take over."
Local architect Diana Jaramillo is considering building a new home.
"But what I like about Tedd’s style is that he’s using timber frame construction because it’s beautiful, it’s sustainable, it’s made out of wood and it’s structural. So it’s a way to achieve multiple things with one way."
Jaramillo says she wants to marry sustainability with a home design that is attractive.
More details about the conference can be found at http://www.esf.edu/greenbuilding/