Join fuentesdesign at our upcoming presentations:
CGBG: BROWN BAG SERIES: HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDING ENVELOPES – PART 1
Our speakers will be: Brian Fuentes, AIA, CPHC, See the Colorado Green Building Guild for more information.
CGBG: August 12th: Brown Bag Series: High Performance Building Envelopes – Part 2
Sustainable Living Fair: Green Building Tent- Passive House and Zero Energy Homes
When: Saturday Sept. 20th, 11 am – 12:00 pm, Brian Fuentes, fuentesdesign LLC
Where: Fort Collins
What: After 15 years of experience designing and building net zero energy, straw bale and passive house type homes in Boulder and around Colorado, Architect and Builder Brian Fuentes AIA will share case studies of real green building projects and the lessons learned on what works, what doesn’t and where the best place to put your money for truly ecologically-minded, healthy, resilient homes. See Sustainable Living Fair for more info.
“The clients that fit best with us are the ones really committed to their health, to the environment and to doing the right thing,” said Brian Fuentes of Boulder-based architecture firm Fuentes Design LLC. Read more in the Boulder County Business Report.
Two fuentesdesign projects were recently award the “Best Green Residential New Construction” and, with builder/developer Boulder ZED, “Best Green Residential Remodel” at the Boulder Valley Green Building Awards by the Colorado Green Building Guild. Congrats to all involved with these progressive projects!
We’re excited to share that two fuentesdesign projects have been announced as finalists in the Colorado Green Building Guild Annual Awards – one in the Green Residential New Construction and the second project, assisting Boulder Zed, in the Green Residential Remodel categories. Winners will be announced at the Boulder County Business Report Earth Conference on June 12th.
With tax day being right around the corner, make sure your tax adviser is aware of available tax incentives for energy efficiency! Most recently, when the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed end of last year it extended a $500 incentive for certain windows/doors, heaters, water pumps – through December 31, 2013. Read more here, and be sure to consult your tax adviser!
Navigating the requirements for tax credits can be complicated – but in today’s Denver Post, a number of resources for federal tax credits from energy-efficient home improvements and other energy savings measures are highlighted.
Interesting data has recently been released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing that the residential heating demand, as a portion of total residential energy use, has decreased by 5% since 1993. The drop is largely attributed to efficiency improvements in mechanical equipment, better insulation levels and higher quality windows. Despite such improvements, the residential energy demand for electronics and other appliances has dramatically increased, from 19% of the total residential energy demand in 1993 to 30% in 2009. This increase is driven by the fact that over 50 million U.S. homes now have three or more televisions and 39 million homes have at least two computers. (Source: Remodeling, 2013)
Fuentesdesign is excited to be involved with the schematic design of the NEW Old Allenspark Gallery! The Old Gallery is owned and operated on a volunteer basis by the Allenspark Community Cultures Council, Inc. (ACCC), a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity. Formed in 2008, the mission of ACCC is to promote the different cultures of Allenspark: community services, education, wellness, arts, visitor information and services, and environmental stewardship. Programs are open to all residents and visitors to the Allenspark area regardless of age, race, religion, politics, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
Renovation will bring the building up to code and address structural weaknesses while enhancing the Gallery’s capacity for community events by creating open and flexible space. New and updated indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to host a number of activities from community meals, to lectures, performances, art workshops and yoga classes. According to the ACCC, “the New Old Gallery will remind us of what we have done well in the valley: we affect change as the wind has, we blanket and protect as the snow has, we watch and smile as the sky has, we appreciate – and protect- the beauty that surrounds us. Allenspark possess a heritage worthy of preservation. In the New Old Gallery, that heritage will find a home.”
Please visit the Old Allenspark Gallery if you’re interested in volunteering or learning how you can support the efforts of the ACCC and the Old Gallery!
If you haven’t seen Chasing Ice yet, you should! The scenery captured by Boulder based photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) is not only awe inspiring, but the time-lapse photography of the retreating glaciers proves to be heartbreaking – giving a “visual voice” to the quickly changing ecosystem. A bit of an emotional roller-coaster, the film is certainly a call to action. Watch the trailer here!
As a call to action, ChasingIce.com identifies a number of “easy” and “difficult” home upgrades that can reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Recognizing that buildings account for nearly half of our country’s carbon footprint, we’re excited to see such tangible steps highlighted – but what makes us most excited (we prefer this to horrified!) is knowing the magnitude of energy we can save through retrofiting/rebuilding our living spaces with existing technologies (see Passive House building techniques) – if designed and built properly, our buildings can require 10X less energy to heat and cool than the current American average. It’s bold, but it’s what we need to do.
Bill McKibben and the 350.org “Do the Math Tour” bio-diesel bus recently made a stop in Boulder, Colorado spreading awareness of the math behind climate change, asking those who signed the banner below to remember three numbers:
1) 2 degrees Celsius: The agreed upon change in temperature that we must stay below, at least in the Copenhagen Accord, 2009 in which 167 countries responsible for 87 percent of the world’s carbon signed. Where representatives signing the Accord agreed that, “deep cuts in global emission are required…so as to hold the increase in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius.”
2) 565 Gigatons: The computer simulated amount of carbon our atmosphere can assimilate and still have a “reasonable hope” to stay below 2 degrees Celsius.
3) 2,795 Gigatons: The amount of fossil fuel we are currently planning to burn.
If you missed it, read Bill McKibben’s recent article in the Rolling Stone magazine here.
Building scientists and Passive House enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Denver for the 2012 National Passive House conference and capped of the week with tours of fuentesdesign homes.
View clips from the tours here:
- Marshall Plan – Rebuilding an 1890s mining cabin into a state of the art Passive House (VIDEO COMING SOON!)
- Renew – An urban retrofit renewing a 1950s track home into a cozy but modern adobe home
- Alpine Passive House – a prefabricated straw bale mountain home, pursuing Passive House certification
- Passivista – designed by fuentesdesign, built by Mainstream Corporation
Utilizing thermal modeling (THERM) of wall assemblies, fuentesdesign gains bettering understanding of thermal performance. THERM, a computer based program developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory can be used to evaluate two-dimensional heat transfer in building components including windows/doors, walls, foundations and roofs. Beyond evaluating energy efficiency an understanding of heat-transfer is fundamental to understanding problems related to condensation, moisture damage, and structural integrity (LBNL).
Below, isotherms used to determine the transfer of heat through a glulam window sill in a fuentesdesign mountain home.
fuentesdesign is a full service architectural firm based in Boulder Colorado specializing in natural materials and super efficient residential projects. With over 10 years of experience and nearly 100 projects to date, we hope to inspire people who choose to build or remodel to leave a legacy they can be proud of. Enjoy!