Saturday, March 27, 2010

More on Low e "Solar" Windows

If you've been following along, you may have learned how important it is to have high a SGHC rating on your south facing windows in a passive solar house. I have also complained about how clueless American window manufacturers are on the subject.

All that is still true, but Martin Holladay of the GreenBuildingAdvisor has compiled a helpful list of the Canadian suppliers that understand the issue. Even though Home Depot may not have these windows, you should be able to get them shipped to you. Fiberglass frames and triple glazing also add value to your project, and are usually worth the extra money. Fiberglass ensures you won't need to replace them in your lifetime. Triple glazing not only reduces heat loss all the time, it prevents most condensation problems even when you live in Denver and crank up the humidifier when it's zero degrees outside.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Denver No. 7 on ‘Green-Cities’ List

A pretty good showing on another one of those "green lists".

Denver Business Journal

Where does Denver need improvement? In a word, traffic.

As you know, Denver's light rail system is set to become one of the nation's most extensive. The planning for this goes back about 20 years, so kudos to everyone in the region who recognized the problem in time to make a dent. Portland is one of the few cities with better mass transit than us, and it's #1 on the list.

Portland re-legalized ADU's a long time ago, and Denver is doing the same this summer if the new zoning code is approved.

Traffic is mostly a peak-period problem, so improvements can be made without widening highways (again).
If you are looking for a personal solution to this problem, sell your house in the suburbs ASAP and move to a transit adjacent neighborhood before prices get too high. Other options include telecommuting, bike commuting, and getting up early or coming home late.

Car sharing is growing:
This is a great private sector solution that is much cheaper than owning your own car. Occasional Car has grown from two cars to eight in just over a year.

If you already live in a walkable neighborhood, you should check out this math:

1. Sell your car and save $300-$2000/month
2. Clean up and rent out your garage for $100/month. (An idea not really allowed by the new zoning code)
3. Join Occasional Car for about $50/month.

You're ahead by at least $350/month!