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QA: How can we maximize impact around the urgency of climate change?

 

The Beyond Efficiency Team Reveals...

Katie Hollbacher, Principle: 

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An "Outsider's" Perspective on the Built Environment's Role in Climate Change

I’m late to the party. Prior to working at Beyond Efficiency, I couldn’t have told you what a heat pump was, nor what Passive House meant. I only had a vague understanding of what a net zero building was, and how important windows, R-values and insulation were. I understood the academic meaning of “retrofitting,” but had no idea how it could factor into reducing or avoiding carbon emissions. All I knew was that I wanted to do my part to combat climate change.

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Permanent Affordability Through Passive Design + Renewables

Beyond Efficiency is proud to be on the team led by Onion Flats Development, and supported by Love | Schack Architecture and GE Johnson Construction Company, vying for the rights to develop multifamily housing at 105 Mercill Avenue in Jackson, Wyoming. Our team’s proposal stands above and beyond the other finalists from the standpoint of its all-electric, zero energy, Passive House and LEED Platinum performance assumptions.

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AIA Code of Ethics Finally Incorporates Sustainability Rule

Image credit: Lake | Flato Architects – Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building

Can We Help the Environment with Our Modern, Electronics-dependent Lifestyle?

Earlier this year, The New York Times published an article by Kendra Pierre-Louis called "Americans Are Staying Home More. That's Saving Energy." The article refers to a study about the positive effects on the environment that have resulted from more people working remotely and shopping online. Despite these positive developments, the article questions whether people are truly saving energy if they are multitasking, working a second shift at home, or using more electronics.

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Giving Back: Our New Community-Focused Initiative

This spring, Beyond Efficiency is calling for proposals from organizations or families in need of building-related technical assistance. Applicants must be based in either the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area or Teton County, Wyoming or Idaho.

"We were researching one-day team volunteer opportunities when we realized we could provide more value and service by volunteering directly and doing the work we do best," said Katy Hollbacher, Principal of Beyond Efficiency.

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Help Give the Earth a Break on Nov. 25!

How much do you feel you are helping to reduce global warming? If you are like me, you are doing things like recycling or turning out the lights in an empty room, but it can feel like a drop in the bucket.

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Details, details, details...

I am reminded every day that the old adage “The devil is in the details!” rings true in our quest for high performance building construction—as much any other endeavor.

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Innovations in Multifamily Plumbing

In early October, I attended the 10th Annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas. A repeated theme was “saving water saves energy and vice versa.” Multifamily buildings are a prime example, as domestic hot water (DHW) is a dominant energy use in multifamily. Reducing DHW use and delivering it more efficiently are worthy project goals. Here are some exciting new developments in this arena:

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Exciting Building Products From Passive House Conference

In late September I gave a presentation at the 12th Annual North American Passive House Conference, organized by PHIUS, describing how heat pump water heaters can be used for combined space heating and water heating. When strolling the vendors' floor between presentations, I was pleasantly surprised to see an increase in the quality of Passive building products.

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