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Amerisips Homes Charleston Custom Home Builder
Feb 242014
 

Wrong Question. Ask How Much Solar Panels Can Save You

Originally published on Cost Of Solar.

OK, it’s true, How Much Are Solar Panels? can be a useful question. But, really, this question is largely of minimal importance today. Either through $0 down loans or 3rd-party-ownership models that let you lease a solar power system instead of buying one, most residents and businesses with a decent roof or ground space for solar panels should have an opportunity to go solar without buying the entire solar panel systems up front.

The real questions — the real ways in which going solar affects your finances — is in how much it saves you and how soon or when it starts to save you money.

I recently created the short infographic below to highlight the 20-year savings from going solar in some of the most populous states in the country, as well as in Hawaii, which has the greatest average savings per project.

t-edison-quote-graph
Notably, those savings are based on 2011 research. The cost of solar has dropped tremendously since then, so the savings should be even greater (on average). Unfortunately, I haven’t seen more recent research on this matter. The specific data points — average 20-year savings from going solar — for those states are as follows:

•California: $34,260
•New York: $31,166
•Florida: $33,284
•Texas: $20,960
•Hawaii: $64,769
These numbers were included in a cool solar power infographic I shared last week. However, the map displaying these numbers was number 3 of 4. I’ve gone ahead and pulled out this key map and will insert it below so that you can see savings in your specific state if you don’t live in one of the four most populous states or Hawaii.

These savings are tremendous. Even the national average (again, in 2011, when solar panels were much more expensive) is above $20,000! How much are solar panels… going to save me? That’s the question to ask. (Of course, you can request a quote on Cost of Solar to get a savings estimate and even a follow-up site visit for a more exact estimate, and it will also give you an estimate of how much solar panels for your house or business will cost.)

map-save-over-time-solar

 

 

 

 

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2014/02/03/much-can-solar-panels-save/#RRK5gtX9dHVageAP.99

 Blog  Comments Off on How Much Are Solar Panels?
Feb 212014
 

light-bulbsFor most home lighting, your choice boils down to three options, from most to least expensive:

  • LEDs
  • Fluorescents (including CFLs)
  • Energy-efficient (halogen) incandescents, which meet the government’s new energy efficiency standards and aren’t being phased out.

Related: Energy-efficient light bulbs are just one way to take back your energy bills.

So how do you choose?

Learn the New Light Bulb Language

Since January 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission has required a new “Lighting Facts” label. It was designed to help consumers break the habit of picking bulbs based on wattage to determine brightness. Now a metric called lumens is used for this task. Wattage only measures the amount of power a light bulb consumes.

Confused? Here’s an example: If you want to replace a 100-watt incandescent with an LED bulb and get the same brightness as the old bulb, you’d need a 27-watt LED bulb with an output of 1,600 lumens.

How to Read the New Label

While the new light bulb lingo sounds pretty complicated, it’s not once you get the gist. Here’s a breakdown of the “Lighting Facts” label:

Brightness: Here’s a quick tip: the brighter the light bulb, the higher the number. Standard bulbs range from 250 to 2,600 lumens.

Estimated Yearly Energy Cost: How does this add up? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, by upgrading 15 traditional incandescents in your home with energy-saving bulbs, you can save about $50 per year on your energy bill. Plus, energy-efficient bulbs produce about 75% less heat, so you may see additional savings when it comes to home cooling.

Life: The life of each bulb is estimated based on the usage described. Keep in mind that labels marked Energy Star meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:
Energy Star LEDs use about 25% of the energy and can last about 25 times longer than traditional incandescents.

Energy Star CFLs use about 25% of the energy and last 10 times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent.

Light Appearance: Terms such as “soft white” don’t mean the same thing from brand to brand. To compare bulbs, you need to know their color temperature, which is measured in kelvins on a scale of 1,000 (the warmest — think candlelight) to 10,000 (the coolest — like a blue sky). LEDs, CFLs, and halogen incandescents all come in a wide range of color temperatures.

Here’s a quick kelvin breakdown for easy reference:

  • The 2700–3000K range is warm and inviting.
  • 3500K casts a neutral light.
  • 4100K casts a cool and bright light.
  • The 5500K-6500K range is closest to daylight.

Energy Used: As we mentioned above, wattage now only measures energy usage, not brightness. So the lower the wattage, the less energy used.

Contains Mercury: Have no fear; only CFLs have a small amount of mercury, so you won’t see this if you are purchasing LEDs or energy-efficient (halogen) incandescents.

What’s Not on the Label?

Not all specs are covered on the FTC label.  So we suggest searching for bulbs online if you’re seeking something really specific. You can often find the necessary info on manufacturers’ websites. Stuff you can look for includes:

How well the bulb shows off colors and textures. This is the key to whether you’ll be satisfied with the quality of light you get. Look for the color rendering index (CRI), a measurement of 1 to 100. The higher the bulb’s score, the better.

Incandescent halogen bulbs score a perfect 100. CFLs and LEDs don’t fare as well as a group, although some individual bulbs get high scores.

How the bulb casts off its light (in technical terms, beam spread). Let’s say you use track lighting to highlight a piece of artwork. “If you want to light a 15×9-in. picture on the wall, you don’t need a 4×4-ft. spread of light,” Witte says. “To be energy-efficient, match the beam spread with the task, putting light only where you need it.”

-reproduced from HouseLogic

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Feb 192014
 

scott-south-pole-station

The basic ingredient of any energy efficient design is the building envelope.  When it comes to building high performance buildings, there are few products on the market that offer the benefit of SIPs.  When the National Science Foundation needed to replace the Amundsen – Scott South P ole Station located at the Southern most point of Earth, Structural Insulated Panels were chosen for the building envelope skin of the $152.9 million project.  The project location offers some of the most extreme weather conditions on Earth with blizzards, gale force winds and temperatures dropping below minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  The South Pole Station is among the highest performance buildings in the world with regards to conservation of heat energy.  In addition to the air tight qualities and superior insulating values, SIPs also aided logistical issues as one of the benefits of the system is the ability to prefabricate building components into easy to install kits that can be crated and shipped anywhere in the world.

You can afford this high performance technology for  YOUR home.  There IS a Better Way to Build

 Blog  Comments Off on High Performance Building, SIPs is the Answer!
Feb 112014
 

SIPs
There must be 50 shades of “Green”… all trying to tell you about how energy efficient they are.  But there is a Better Shade of Green”…and that’s what we use to build our homes.

The photo on the left is the interior of our latest Structured Insulated Panel Eco-Shell home.  The interior walls are constructed with Magnesium Oxide panels with foam core.  Why is this better than stick and wallboard with insulation?   Because it is solid, and straight.  It is energy conserving with more integrated insulation that doesn’t fall or break down.  Termites, palmetto bugs, and other multi-legged creatures will not find the insulation attractive to breed, especially since it is treated with Borate which is safe.  There are no off-gases or VOCs omitted, so you truly have a healthy home – not one that just looks pretty.  And this interior board substantially eliminates allergies too because there is no place for mold to develop and grow inside your walls.

Pretty darn amazing, right?  I’ll bet you think you can’t afford a healthy home… we bet you can.  Visit us and we’ll show you how you can have a healthy home that is also so energy efficient it is LEED Certified by the U.S. Green Builder’s Council.

 Blog  Comments Off on 50 Shades of Green
Feb 052014
 

small-solar-homeA report on the Housing Needs Assessment was just recently published for the Berkley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments by the Charleston Zoning and Planning Departments.

A key finding cited the following:

  • “61% of the housing types in the region are single-family, detached; however, with this housing type may not be as desirable in the future.
  •  More affordable, alternative housing types such as townhouses, rowhouses, and apartments comprise only 27% of the region’s housing stock. This is not amenable to small household sizes or the renting population.”

Amerisips believes all its clients are created equal.  This means that we will build a smaller home with equal quality as a larger home.  Just because your family does not need 3,000 sf, doesn’t mean your only option is an ‘off the shelf’ track home or townhouse.

Our high-performance homes utilize the latest technology and highest quality we can provide to deliver a home that meets your lifestyle and budget, and can deliver reduced costs through solar options.Why not buy a home that delivers reduced monthly costs?  Want to enjoy your home and leave a legacy?  A small ecological footprint, energy efficiency, and reduced power payments can deliver to you and your children for years to come.

 Blog  Comments Off on Affordable New Homes
Jan 202014
 

starbucks-sips The residential use of SIPs is leaping beyond it’s once believed boundary, and into the commercial sector.

In the November/December issue of Commercial Construction & Renovation magazine, Premier SIPs Technical Manager Joe Pasma writes about the use of structural insulated panels (SIPs) in retail stores. The article mentions both 7-11 and Starbucks as forward-looking corporations looking to reduce their energy use by specifying SIPs in their stores.

 

In the article, Pasma discusses the following benefits of using SIPs in retail construction:

 

  • SIP-built structures are more airtight than stick-framed buildings
  • SIPS provide continuous insulation throughout a building’s walls and roof
  • SIP-built retail stores look no different than stores built with traditional construction, preserving the signature architecture of national and regional chains
  • SIPs help speed up construction
  • SIPs are compatible with nearly any type of building system, including poured concrete or block foundations

Read the full article here.

 

Jan 042014
 

rob_watson_gtri_3LEED pioneer Rob Watson explains that ‘there are good buildings, and there are bad buildings’ while speaking at a sustainability and design conference in Atlanta.

“People still don’t appreciate how important buildings are,” Watson said Wednesday at the 16th annual Greenprints conference, where he delivered the keynote address. “We need to help people figure out that buildings are not just an appendage. They are our skin.”

Watson has been a sustainability advocate since the 1990s, when he created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for the U.S. Green Building Council, now the gold standard for quantifying almost any building’s environmental virtues. Dubbed the “father of LEED,” he then founded the EcoTech International Group, where he currently serves as chairman, CEO and chief scientist. While he is no longer with the USGBC,  he’s still considered the father of LEED throughout the industry.

“Hopefully we’re on our way to eliminating ‘green’ as a modifier,” he said. “There are good buildings, and there are bad buildings.” Good buildings save energy, water, time and effort, he explained — but perhaps most importantly to their occupants, they save money. “This is not a fad,” Watson added. “The bottom line of green is black.”

 Blog  Comments Off on Sustainability
Jan 012014
 

leed-certif-logo1-150x150The following is published on the USGBC.org website.  We found this so informative, we thought we’d share it again here.

The Speakers

Alongside the two big political stars who delivered keynote addresses – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and statistician Nate Silver – Greenbuild’s Master Series of lectures featured architect Edward Mazria, who announced the official launch of 2030palette.org. The new website provides a wealth of sustainable building information, links to outside sources, and successful approaches to green architecture at every scale. Mazria’s aim is to help the building industry reach its Challenge 2030 goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The Products

Roughly 1,000 exhibitors in 37 product categories – from ceilings to electrical to signage – packed the showroom floor. Special pavilions were dedicated to concrete, wood, maximizing the smart grid, and “500 mile” construction, featuring local manufacturers.

Green Industry News

When it comes to impacting architecture and construction, perhaps the biggest event at this year’s expo was the release of LEED v 4, the first update since 2009 to USGBC’s LEED rating system. The new version introduces more rigorous technical standards, and a more streamlined certification process.

If you missed picking up a copy of AZURE magazine from their booth at the show, here’s your chance to try an issue risk-free, and pay later for 8 more not-to-be missed great reads: azuremagazine.com/tryazure1.”

 Blog  Comments Off on Greenbuilt Excitement
Dec 232013
 

xmas-2014As we enter the Christmas holidays I feel compelled to remind our employees and associates that we should remember our clients, their families, friends, and neighbors in our thoughts and prayers during this holiday season.

It is our client’s faith and trust in us that allows us to earn a living for our families…they make it possible for us to put food on the table, educate our children and even buy presents for our friends and families while building a superior home for our clients to enjoy for the decades to come.

Some of our clients have had setbacks that would challenge even the strongest of us yet they continue to strive to design and build the home of their dreams.

Every one of our clients is unique and special. As an example, because of the SIPs construction and the extraordinary talents of one if our architects, we are able to design and build a “Vastu” energy efficient home that meets the family’s lifestyle and embodies their ancestral culture.

Other clients are ‘Boomers’ that are downsizing their home to prepare for their retirement in a lower cost, healthier home environment.

We have been offered great opportunities and we will continue to work with care and compassion to earn the trust that has been granted to us by our valued clients and friends.

Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year from our thankful Amerisips Team.

 Blog  Comments Off on Holiday Tidings and Gratitude
Dec 122013
 

congressThe Mortgage and Building industries are moving in the right direction.  Legislation introduced would support energy efficiency which benefits not only the environment, but the home owner too.

“The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, S. 1106, was introduced by Senators Bennet (D-Colo.) and Isakson (R-Ga.) on June 6, 2013. This legislation would improve the accuracy of mortgage underwriting used by federal mortgage agencies by including energy efficiency as a factor in determining the value and affordability of a home. S. 1106 was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Summary

Home energy costs can make up a significant portion of a household budget; in many cases, utility bills are larger than both property taxes and homeowners insurance. However, household energy costs can vary substantially, depending on energy efficiency measures and other characteristics, making a home’s efficiency level a key component in determining its value. Current appraisals do not account for energy efficiency when calculating the affordability and value of a home. The SAVE Act, which offers a voluntary energy efficiency evaluation as part of the mortgage underwriting process, would help consumers and lenders better evaluate the true value of residences.

S. 1106 would also instruct lenders to inform loan applicants about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency, and to provide them with information about resources and financing options available for energy efficiency upgrades.”

To read more about SAVE for green homes, follow the Amerisips link provided in this line.

 Blog  Comments Off on Summary of the SAVE Act of 2013
Dec 022013
 

bim-revit-300x225Decades ago, an architect used a pencil and paper – the inaccuracies were rampant. Then came the age of computers and design shifted to CAD/CAM.

As we progress and evolve, we know that the very best home designs and architectural drawings are developed using the Building Information Modeling systems, or BIM.

Our Design Team uses this software and has experience with all the Intricacies and details it offers. Besides our client viewing renderings and even a virtual tour, it stores data so that every detail of the house, whether it is mechanical, electrical, plumbing, doors & windows…whatever the component, is all recorded and stored for precision. Continue reading »

 Blog  Comments Off on Charleston Architecture
Nov 212013
 

vastra-house_exterior-300x192“Vastu” in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit means “energy” or “that which is imperishable”, an adjective that we would gladly use for our home. Indeed, two of the vital functions of a home would be to nurture and shelter us. A home is a place that should protect us from the harsh exterior world and rejuvenate us.

“Vāstu” comes from the same culture that brought us Yoga and Āyurveda. Vāstu can be considered as the yoga of design, and strives to bring balance, health, harmony, order, and unity to the space around us. Meditation gives us the experience of pure consciousness; Vāstu enhances this and connects us with the source through proper design. Vāstu creates healthy buildings that profoundly affect our health, happiness, and prosperity ultimately, the health of our environment.

Vāstu Shastra is an ancient science of construction and architecture with precepts borne out of a traditional view on how Continue reading »

Nov 132013
 

Panel-house-roof-installCost per square foot…. We’ve all heard it and perhaps even used it ourselves. But what does that really mean to a buyer?

  • It means you are placing a purchase value on space rather than the quality of the space you are purchasing.
  • It means you are omitting the qualities desirable for you and your family – clean air, a structurally sound home, a well-insulated home, a home that is energy conscious to save you $ to put towards your kid’s education or a sailboat for yourself!
  • It means nothing.

In the past, we’ve all used it to give us an indication of what we are intending to purchase, compared to other homes (not even apples to apples). Continue reading »

Nov 122013
 

mgo-residential-296x300Magnesium Oxide (MGO) SIPS (Structured Insulated Panels) panels are the next generation of SIPs having a superior fire rating to traditional fiber cement and OSB SIPs panels.

MGO SIPS are a healthy choice as they contain no organic solvents, heavy metals, asbestos, oils or other toxic ingredients and are classified as a “Green Building Material.” MGO will not support black mold growth and has a high resistance to moisture absorption making it an ideal choice for wet humid environments.

MGO is strong, durable and impact resistant, a requirement for hurricane prone areas. With the use of a MGO SIPS panel, drywall can be eliminated which further reduces the time and cost of construction. The exterior surface of MGO SIPS can be painted or coated with a synthetic stucco finish, Continue reading »

Oct 212013
 

MGO-panel-installing Through generations of time, man has searched for superior building materials to withstand forces of nature. We migrated from mud and thatch to log and stick. Despite the evolutions, drafts, mold & mildew, poor air quality, inadequate insulation and a poor barrier for Mother Nature succumbed to the elements.

Decades ago, famed architect Frank Llyod Wright resurrected the Structured Insulated Panel to engender the construction of a superior home – Amerisips continues in his footsteps, offering the superior construction of SIPs.

Most SIPs construction utilizes the pressed OSB boards with styrafoam sandwiched in between. This extremely advantageous material offers far more benefits to the home owner.

As a species, we desire to continually improve, and thus enters our AmeriBoards – Magnesium Oxide panels.

Magnesium Oxide SIPS panels (MGO) are the next generation of SIPs having a superior fire rating to traditional fiber cement and OSB SIPs panels. MGO panel skins are available in thickness of 6 mm to 30 mm. AmeriBoard panels can be used for basement walls and waterproofed with the same methods and materials used to waterproof a Continue reading »

 Blog, Understanding SIPs  Comments Off on Stick Frame Construction cannot compete with Improved Building Materials
Oct 162013
 

image-PanelHouseThe comparison of SIPs to traditional stick-framing methods is simple, And the state of California has recognized it in a state wide law. Their Title 24 legislation, requires all new construction (residential and non-residential) must be zero energy by 2013. Since California is an innovator in energy efficiency, it is very likely that other states will soon follow their lead.

Since government agencies recognize the significant difference in high performance framing methods like SIPs, shouldn’t you? Here is a summary of why SIPs are superior to standard 2×6 R19 construction. Continue reading »

Oct 152013
 

Moving-Charleston_483-300x172Charleston, S.C. has to be one of the most beautiful cities steeped in culture and history in the entire U.S. Readers seemed to echo that opinion as it was voted the #1 city in the world in 2013.

Amerisips is building new homes in various communities throughout Charleston. Unlike the cookie-cutter builders, Amerisips is combining the richness of Charleston with true quality construction. Homebuyers used to think that building a quality custom home was out of reach, but not with Amerisips.

Visit their office and model on Johns Island at the Villages at St Johns Woods and see for yourself, or ask your realtor to meet with the team to learn how you can live a healthier life in a net zero energy home designed for the way you live.

 Blog  Comments Off on Moving to Charleston
Sep 202013
 

whilden-Green-300x201On October 3, teams from 20 universities across North America and Europe will face off in the 2013 Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. The biennial competition challenges student teams to design and build cutting-edge, net zero energy homes. To reduce home energy use and the amount of solar generation capacity required, four teams participating in this year’s competition will construct their homes using structural insulated panels (SIPs).

The homes will be built in Orange County Great Park, where they will be open for public viewing days on October 3–6 and October 10–13. Judges will rate the homes on a number of criteria, including energy efficiency, comfort, indoor environmental quality, and aesthetic appeal.

SIPs have been a product of choice for Solar Decathlon teams dating back to the competition’s inception in 2001. SIPs, as an engineered component, are assembled quickly and save a tremendous amount of energy by avoiding thermal bridging and Continue reading »

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Sep 192013
 

goGreenThink Going Green is just about the environment? Think Again!

The regulatory environment has been steadily moving real estate towards sustainability…the government offers tax credits..its more than just about climate change.

It was only a matter of time before the property and casualty insurance for real estate increased it’s rates, and it is happening now.

If the environment and tax credits in your pocket aren’t enough, consider saving on your home insurance, energy bills (heating and cooling), having clean air to minimize allergies, dust, mold and mildew commonly found in traditional stick-built homes.

Want to establish your own legacy to the world? Build a SIP home and leave a small footprint while you laugh all the way to the bank and enjoy your healthy home. Continue reading »

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Sep 112013
 

Peace-lily-225x300Amerisips Homes is one of the few home builders that can state that their homes attain the EPA airPLUS qualification for clean indoor air.

Indoor airPLUS builds on the foundation of EPA’s ENERGY STAR requirements for new homes and provides additional construction specifications to provide comprehensive indoor air quality protections in new homes.

Construction specifications include the careful selection and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant construction; and low-emitting building materials.

Amerisips Homes construction quality and LEED Certification play a huge part in constructing a home that is superior in every sense.

As a homeowner, you can enhance the purity of the air your family breathes by choosing indoor house plants that work for you, as well as beatify your home. Not only do these plants absorb pollutants, they also scrub harmful gases out of the air and help fight pollution.

Choose from plants such as : Continue reading »

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Sep 112013
 

high-performance-envelope-300x259We all look for value when making a purchase, and buying a home is no different. But how do you know you are getting good value for your hard earned money?

Many new (and resale) homes will try to entice purchasers with amenities such as granite counter tops and low prices. We feel you are purchasing much more than a box to live in… it is an environment for your most precious belonging…your family and your health.

When you purchase a home with Amerisips, you are getting a home certified by a national organization that recognizes homes that attain the highest quality of construction and features. You are getting the best value for your investment (financial and family). The Certification is from an organization called U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is LEED Platinum. Continue reading »

 Blog  Comments Off on Tips from a Builder on Buying a Home
Aug 152013
 

Leed-for-home-logo

LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system created by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes, including affordable housing, mass-production homes, custom designs, stand-alone single-family homes, duplexes and townhouses, suburban and urban apartments and condominiums and lofts in historic buildings.

What Is LEED?

It is “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED). A green home is designed to have a positive impact on energy efficiency, environmental performance and human well being. LEED is a point-based certification system that measures how well a home performs as a green home. Homes can achieve the following levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Amerisips projects have achieved Gold and we are pushing the bar higher to regularly achieve Platinum.LEED-Platinum-Logo

LEED is a Tool
For Amerisips, LEED is a tool used to set targets and track progress during the design and construction of a Free Energy Living home.

LEED is a Scorecard
For homebuyers, LEED is a Scorecard—like a nutrition label—that gives a clear, concise picture of all the ways a green home performs at a higher level.

LEED is a Seal of Quality
For residents, LEED is a seal of quality, providing peace of mind that they are living in a home designed to deliver fresh air indoors and improved water and energy efficiency.

What Does LEED Measure?

LEED recognizes performance in eight areas:

Indoor Environmental Quality The quality of the air indoors is often two to five times worse, and occasionally more than 100 times worse, than outdoor air, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A LEED home is designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to toxins and pollutants.

Energy Efficiency The average American household spends around $1,500 every year on energy bills, according to the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR program. Based on average ENERGY STAR scores of LEED homes built so far, they have the potential to use 20-30% less energy, and some up to 60% less energy, than a home built to the International Code Council’s standards for minimum energy efficiency. Less energy use means lower utility bills every month through the life of a house.

Water Efficiency Wasteful water use is both costly and risky, as population growth and a changing climate make clean, safe water an increasingly scarce resource. It is also directly tied to wasteful energy use: As much as 1/4-1/2 of the electricity used by most U.S. cities is consumed at municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities according to the U.S. Department of Energy. LEED homes use innovative strategies to reduce a home’s water use and to find creative ways to reuse water.

Site Selection The old truism about prime real estate – location, location, location – is especially true of green homes. LEED encourages homes that are close to schools, shopping, work and transit, maximizing your quality of life and reducing the amount of time you waste in traffic.

Site Development During construction and beyond, a home can cause erosion, interfere with natural habitats and pollute waterways through stormwater runoff. LEED homes avoid destructive construction practices and have landscaping and other elements that protect the land where the home sites.

Materials Selection The materials and resources that go into a home can be carefully selected from sustainably harvested, responsibly processed sources – or they can be wasteful and contribute to habitat destruction. LEED homes use recycled, reclaimed and responsibly obtained materials everywhere possible.

Residents’ Awareness LEED is proactive in educating homeowners and renters about a home’s green features and how to get the highest performance from them. A LEED home also stands as an example to the community of a well-built home and encourages others to live the same.

Innovation LEED encourages builders and designers to find innovative ways to increase a home’s performance, taking into account local and regional needs and promoting durability for a long-lasting, comfortable home.

How Does A Free Energy Living Home Become LEED Certified?

Registration The Amerisips building team registers a new home project with the LEED for Homes program.

Teamwork The builder, architect, engineer and others on the design and construction team work closely together to optimize the benefits of a green home and ensure all the pieces work well together.

Verification During the construction of the home, inspections at significant milestones, often including an ENERGY STAR rating, verify that the project is on the right track.

Certification At the end of the process, a home is awarded points for its achievements. Based on the number of points it receives, the home can be certified at one of four levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

 

Disclaimer

The LEED for Homes certification program has been put in place to provide independent, third-party verification that a particular home complies with the LEED for Homes Green Building Rating System. This certification program is not meant to serve as a vehicle for the adjudication of disputes between third parties, including without limitation, contractual disputes that arise between homeowners, project teams, and homebuilders. Accordingly, this certification program and the services provided by Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, USGBC staff, Providers, and/or Green Raters does not replace the applicable judicial or other alternative dispute resolution processes that such third parties may have available to resolve such disputes between themselves.

Further, the U.S. Green Building Council makes no warranty with respect to any LEED-certified project, including any warranty of habitability, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. There are no warranties, express or implied, written or oral, statutory or otherwise, with respect to the certifications provided by USGBC. By way of example only, and without limiting the broad scope of the foregoing, it is understood that LEED certification, whether at the Certified level or any other level, does not mean that the project is structurally sound or safe, constructed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations or codes, free of mold or mildew, free of volatile organic compounds or allergens, or free of soil gases including radon.

Aug 152013
 

August 15, 2013

Why Does Amerisips Design & Build with SIP Panels? A Structured Insulated Panel (SIP) functions like an I-Beam. The SIPs sheathing or facing acts like the steel flanges and the SIPs foam core acts like the continual steel web.

Extensive research has shown that the structural integrity of a SIPs building is significantly superior to a conventional stick framed house in terms of compressive resistance, flexural strength, shear resistance, and uplift resistance. Since their introduction and use in the 1930s (including homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright), SIPs have undergone exhaustive testing by many third party agencies. SIPs panels have proven themselves to be a powerful alternative to standard stick frame; 2×4 or 2×6 construction, and even ICF construction, regardless of the type of insulation; fiberglass, cellulose or blown foam insulation used in the walls or roof.

If the laboratory research wasn’t evidence enough, there are many SIPs homes that can be found in the real world, many of which are decades old Continue reading »

Aug 152013
 

Rendering-pondberryWelcome to Charleston, voted the Top City to Live by Condé Nast Traveler readers….readers could have selected anywhere worldwide…Paris, London, Florence, but they selected Charleston, S.C.

It’s not a secret… Amerisips builds homes in Charleston for people to live in. But when we use the word ‘live’, we truly mean the way you want to live… your lifestyle, your floor plan design, your healthy home, your monthly budget.

Why live in Charleston? A beautiful unity of the “top city to live”, and the top home to live in.

Charleston offers some of the best beaches, moderate winters, golf, walking, biking, and communities. Charleston took the number one place to live by Condé Nast Traveler. It was named the No. 4 Top City in the U.S. and Canada in Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards, the No. 3 Best Weekend Getaway by U.S. News & World Report, and one of the top 21 places to visit in 2012 by Fodor’s Travel Guides. Continue reading »

 Blog  Comments Off on Live in Charleston South Carolina
Aug 152013
 

Amerisips in mt pleasant

Charleston-based Amerisips Homes (amerisips.com) plans to open a manufacturing facility in Mount
Pleasant to produce parts needed to build its homes. Amerisips Homes designs, manufactures and builds energy-efficient homes (http://amerisips.com/lifestyle-freeenergy-living/) . Currently, the company has roughly 20 homes finished or under construction in the Charleston area with plans to break into the commercial market as well.

The new factory will produce the Amerisips-designed panels (http://amerisips.com/lifestyle-free-energy-living/) to build its homes. The structural insulated panel systems, or SIPS, are thick chunks of foam wedged between slabs of wood or fire-proof concrete. Continue reading »

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Sep 112013
 

high-performance-envelope

What do we mean when we talk about a High Performance Envelope? One that is so tight at the seams that drafts which lead to excess energy use, mold, mildew and insect entry are virtually eliminated. Indoor air quality is so high that it receives certification from the EPA (AirPlus), and the home itself, is awarded LEED certification by the USGBC.

Where the insulation is so thick that your energy costs are significantly reduced, and where the structural integrity of the house can withstand winds up to 200mph.

That’s what we’re talking about… and it doesn’t cost as much as you think to own a home of this quality! Continue reading »

 Blog, Understanding SIPs  Comments Off on High Performance Building Envelope for Residential & Commercial
Sep 112013
 

IMG_2025-300x225

On June 19, 2013, Amerisips Homes welcomed local Charleston real estate professionals to the CEU class focused on the Future of Green Building. The SIPs constructed Platinum LEED Certified home served as the classroom as the Housing Paradigm Shift was introduced.

The paradigm shift compared past and current building practices against the future ( and Amerisips Homes) building practices. Those include: Continue reading »

 Blog  Comments Off on Real Estate Professional Education
Sep 112013
 

broken-house

The Need for Change

Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect, Building Technologies Program, US Department of Energy and Former Founder & National Director ENERGY STAR for Homes, U.S. EPA

Quote from “Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry” book

There are more than 130 million existing single family and multifamily homes in the United States. More than 95 percent of them evidence poor performance base on commonly occurring symptoms; unnecessarily high utility bills; seasonal discomfort; poorly managed interior moisture levels that can lead to musty smells, mold and dust mites; epidemic levels of respiratory health problems; widespread thermal defects; high indoor noise levels; window condensation; excessive bugs; high levels of dust; ice dams in winter and uneven peeling paint.” Continue reading »

Sep 112013
 

eco-shell2-300x239
Energy independence is no longer a movement relegated to the apocalypse-touting and granola-eating subsects of the American population. It’s now accessible and attractive to main-stream and cost-conscious home builders. Gone are the days of bulky solar panels and protruding wind turbines. Thanks to Amerisips – an all-in-one, green developing, designing, distributing, and building company – Charlestonians can enjoy Free Energy Living…in style.

Amerisips uses structural insulated panels to form the foundation upon which their business model, company name, and homes are built. They use SIPs (which are six to eight inches thick) for the floor, roof, and walls of what they call their ‘Eco Shells’. Continue reading »

Sep 112013
 

hers

So what exactly is HERS?

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is one of many national standard for measuring the energy efficiency of a home. Typically the older the home, the higher the rating (consuming more energy and costing more dollars to maintain). Even most new homes, while somewhat improved over an older home, is typically in the mid-range and will still cost the homeowner (vary based on usage like mpg in a car) a greater monthly expense in utility bills. It may sound good, but it has not achieved a healthy and lower utility cost.

To achieve a low monthly energy expense, the home needs to be free of drafts and leakages in the building shell envelope, allowing for a mold and mildew ‘sandwich’. Building leakages not only deteriorates the home’s ability to attain a low energy usage, but in a short time, deteriorates the indoor air quality contributing to illness of the occupants.

An Amerisips Free Energy Living (Net Zero Energy) Home is so airtight, it attains one of the lowest HERS scores and surpasses that criteria to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.

Download the Government PDF information and charts on Energy Efficiency ratings here. Then call us at Amerisips for an appointment or stop in to experience the difference. Net Zero Energy homes can be achieved.