The Wrong Way to Get to Net Zero

Because our office is LEED EBOM Platinum certified (and because we’re just nerdy that way), we track our energy bills pretty closely. Our Portfolio Manager account is stocked with month-by-month reports of how much energy our solar panels produce and how much energy we had to pull from the grid. On a generous day, one… More

Get involved with the 2016 Community Project

Combining our green architecture and sustainability expertise with community involvement just got a whole lot easier. Re:Vision’s Kristie Kozenewski, a DVGBC Ambassador, is seeking volunteers to join her and DVGBC in creating the 2016 Community Project. Both short and long term opportunities are available that range from recruiting and selecting the project to ultimately putting a… More

Solar Panels. Are They Worth It?

It’s great to see our 827 Northern Liberties home featured in about solar homes for sale (along with groovy solar infographic) but we’d love to see it alongside many more solar homes!  Costs are coming down…  

Deep Material Vetting: How Do You Do It?

How do you avoid the worst offenders? How do you use disclosure tools such as HPD, EPD, MSDS, and Declare Label? And how do you spot an information gap? Our Living Building Challenge Ambassadors, Scott Kelly and Chris Lee, answered these questions (and more) during a live interactive webcast with that focused on how to vet material… More

Solar/Google Maps Mashup

Just found this from You can overlay a solar path for any day of the year on any location in google maps – including satellite view.  This is a great lite resource – not a substitute for a real altitude azimuth diagram but good for quick visualization. For a deeper look, my default is still… More

Aerzen’s Solar Dashboard

It’s Friday, October 31, 2014 and Aerzen’s headquarters in Coatesville, PA is generating 48.57 kW on a mostly clear day. Thus far the solar array has generated 484006.99 kW hours since February 2013. It’s CO2 offset equals to saving 8,712 trees and its energy generated equals to 39,204 gallons of gas saved. How did I,… More

Post-Occupancy Plea for Data

Dear Owners, We design, we consult, we model, we stress about an insane amount of minutiae, and then we sit and wonder how projects are actually performing.  One easy gauge is your utility bills.  We deeply appreciate when you send them to us…you are helping us identify possible issues and shape what we do on… More

Re-Purpose Ideas

I am in awe of the wide array of salvaged materials generated by this company, as well as the creative re-purpose ideas they feature from their customers.  75,000 unused kitty litter bags anyone?  How about an ACTUAL RAILROAD BRIDGE?  Their periodic newsletter is oddly addictive, and useful. Repurposed Materials website


I suppose a blog is as good a place as any to get out your pet peeves.  One of mine is the “Net-Zero Energy” label on buildings that are still in design.  As I write that, I am thinking “Oh crickey, I bet I am guilty of that.”  Yes, I may have gotten sloppy myself… More


I field lots of calls of homeowners curious about building their own home. In order of frequency, here are the most typical questions: costs (!!!), process (who does what?), schedule, and pros/cons of new vs renovation. Every so often you get a wild-card question too, like yesterday when Craig Claudin (a cameraman who got the… More