How Should You Heat Your Water?

Water heaters can be a large driver of a family’s electric bill, accounting for 14-18 percent of the total cost per month. However, thanks to several advances in water heating technology, families now have more options to choose from when installing a new water heater. Over the past few years, heat pump, tankless, and solar heaters have gained interest due to their energy efficiency and ancillary benefits.

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Water Quality in Winter Park

I recently discussed some features of my new home with a client and was surprised by one of the elements he found interesting. We were discussing tap water and ways to pour a glass of chilled water when a kitchen design prevents the use of a standard water dispenser in the refrigerator door. This topic led into a discussion of different methods of chilling and filtering the drinking water and raised questions about the water quality in Winter Park. How good is our City water?

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Getting to Net-Zero Energy

Originally Published in the Winter Park Home Magazine: Issue 2, 2013

Solar Array

Bi-Facial Solar Array Roof

Our new home is very energy efficient, but some people have asked why we weren’t able to achieve Net-Zero Energy use for the home. The simple answer is that it would have cost a lot more money up-front and would involve the installation of photovoltaic panels.

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Green Building Upgrades To Consider Before Remodeling

Originally Published in the Winter Park Home Magazine: Issue 1, 2013

Eastwind Front Elevation

Front Elevation of Eastwind Remodel

My family recently moved into our renovated home in Maitland. The project was quite extensive and involved a full gut to the wood framing of the home. A renovation of this scope provided the opportunity to update and upgrade the look of the home, replace all mechanical systems, and improve efficiency of water and energy use. Many of the green building ideas we addressed in our full-scale remodel are applicable to any size project though. Below is a quick summary of topics that we addressed:

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Energy Efficient Lighting

Originally Published in the Winter Park Home Magazine: Issue 3, 2012

Cantilevered Front Porch Structure

My wife and I are in the middle of a major renovation of a home in Maitland for our family. One of the goals for the home is to achieve a bright and warm feeling, so we felt lighting was a critical component. The home has vaulted wood ceilings with exposed beams through a majority of the home, so lighting selections proved to be tricky. We learned some interesting lessons as we balanced our priorities of lighting design, light quality/color, energy efficiency, with costs.

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Green Garages

My father recently received an email with an expected arrival date for his new Tesla Model-S electric car. Years after placing the order for the car, it finally hit home that the car was on its way.  He told me that I would need to add an electric circuit in his garage to charge the car. This got me thinking about garages and how they are frequently overlooked when discussing green building. This article will briefly review some important environmental aspects that apply to many garages in Winter Park.

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A Unique Solar Array

My previous article on Getting to Net Zero sparked some interest in the specialized photovoltaic solar array we are preparing to install at the project on Pine Avenue, so I wanted to go into more depth on the system. To refresh your memory, we are installing a 13,455 watt solar array which incorporates three unique products that offer several advantages over traditional systems. The three primary components include the: Florian canopy structure, Sanyo HIT Double 195 photovoltaic modules, and SolarEdge inverter system.

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