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New Jersey School of Architecture Professor Reveals How to Build an Eco-friendly Home Inexpensively

Are you aware that 2 NYC based architects designed an asymmetrical home with fixed budget of $250,000?

Architects and Jersey City citizens Richard Garber (assistant professor at NJ Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture and Design in Newark) and Nicole Robertson of GRO Architects in NYC rose to the challenge of constructing and overseeing the building of a single-family house that’s a genuine proof of both progressive design and environmental-friendly technology.

Denis Carpenter not long ago purchased a compact vacant lot and, to achieve his concern for the environment, wanted a residence that was efficient and very easy to maintain.
Eco Friendly Home
What's so particular about this home?

- Inside the home, on the floor level, radiant heating below the exposed cement floor warms the full bathing room and two bedrooms.

- In the attic-like 2nd level, sleek aluminum and stainless steel railings accent the bamboo stairway to the mezzanine, family room and an artfully designed kitchen made with restored devices and cabinetry.

- Passive cooling strategies like ceiling fans and clerestory windows allow occupants to be cool during summer months and hot during winter.

- The roof contains 260 feet square of photovoltaic panels that deliver around 2,000 kilowatts of energy per year to a battery stored in the basement.

This single family 1,600-square-foot home was constructed in six months and won a 2009 American Institute of Architects merit award and the 2010 Green Building of the Year Award from the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.

Ok now what? How can you transform your home into an ecologically-friendly home without investing too much money?

If you're remodeling a home, execute an energy review first to help you determine what energy efficiency improvements should and can be made to your home. In this way you'll calculate how much energy your home consumes.

My favorite eco-friendly technique is the passive solar cooling/heating design.

Passive solar signifies that your home's windows, walls, and floors can be created to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer.

Existing buildings can be adapted or "retrofitted" to passively collect and store solar heat too.

The following five elements constitute a comprehensive passive solar home design:

The Collector - The area through which sunlight enters the building (usually windows).

The Absorber - The hard, darkened surface of the storage element. Sunlight hits the surface and is absorbed as heat.

The Thermal Mass - The elements that retain or store the heat generated by sunlight below or behind the absorber surface.

The Distributor - The method by which solar heat circulates from the collection and storage points to different areas of the house.

The Controller - Roof overhangs can be used to shade the aperture area during summer season or Thermostats that signal a fan to turn on.

The author - Cynthia Booth - shares knowledge for the architecture careers blog. It's a nonprofit web site dedicated to provide help for young architects who need resources for their careers. With this she would like to increase the attention on eco-friendly home design and change the general public conception of energy efficiency.

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