Monday, September 26, 2016

Officially GPR Certified

The Avocado Acres project was awarded GreenPoint Rated Silver Certification! Here are the stats for Certification:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Project Complete!

Avocado Acres is complete and move-in ready. GreenPoint Rated Certification is pending. Check out the beautiful photos below!

Friday, November 13, 2015

We passed final inspection today!

We passed final inspection  today, and the project is very close to entire completion. A few loose ends, construction cleanup, and then staging will have it on the market soon. More on our website about this project can be found HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Geometric Lines and Curves - The Aa House Taking Shape

Permeable pavers for the driveway reduce site runoff by allowing stormwater to percolate and filter through the soil.

A curved central outdoor patio area

Progress on the central dining/living room area that opens to the patio

Up next - Landscaping!

SolPal: Low-Cost Solar Hot Water System

This last Monday morning we decided to take the SolPal Solar Thermal System (Solar Hot Water) out for a spin to see how it's working.  The system pre-heats water going into a conventional natural gas-fired water heater so that it uses less fuel to heat water.  At the temperature shown, the water should not need any auxiliary gas-fired heating at all (unless there are heat losses through the tank itself in standby mode... and that is typically sufficiently supplied by the heat from the pilot light anyway.)

The SolPal is relatively new to the market, and is a fairly low-cost system.  The materials for the premium model we used were only $1500, and with a rough installation cost of $1500 that comes to a total of around $3000 for a full system.  This is very reasonable for Solar Thermal.  Because of it's low cost, we were curious as to its effectiveness, and judging by the temperature of the water coming out so early in the morning we would say it is working VERY well.

The system can be retrofitted to existing water heating, as well of course in new construction.  For builders, the new construction application should be of great interest for one particular reason:  Solar Thermal provides a big boost to the Title-24 Energy Calculations.  With our energy code getting tighter and tighter, it's getting harder to design a home with all the glazing that us Californians expect in our homes.   So, for a cost of $3000, architects may not have to take windows out of their designs in order to meet the energy code.  Ta da!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July 2015 - Timelapse

The Avocado Acres is speeding along! In two months we have completed framing, installed the Tyvek Vapor Barrier, windows, piping, and electrical. This week - insulation!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Framing Timelapse

Framing is completed at Avocado Acres! Check out the timelapse: