Profile

Cover photo
147 followers|34,076 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
What the green residential sector can learn from the eat local movement.

Thanks to the growth of the “eat local movement”, American farmer’s markets, in cities, college towns, and rural squares across the nation have been experiencing something of a prolonged renaissance. Critical urban spaces that had once languished in negligent oblivion or had been paved over for parking long ago, have reemerged as impromptu spaces for socialization, culture, and yes, food. Sales from these gatherings exceed 1 billion dollars annually as the number of these markets continues to trend upward at a brisk pace.

Much of this growth is the result of a seismic shift in consumer culture. Americans are increasingly seeking out foods that are produced in a way that yields fresher, healthier, and more sustainable products. The local food system offers real opportunities for seeing the real people, social relations, and physical conditions involved in the act of producing food. The more patrons are exposed to the realities of agribusiness and the food system, the more they are unsatisfied with existing norms and conditions. The process is as important as the product itself. And there is much to laud in these sentiments.The home building industry can learn much from these trends and sentiments.

Build Local

The local food movement provides some interesting parallels to, and lessons for, the burgeoning green home movement. In many ways, the goals are very similar – an attention to the actual process of production in pursuit of a quality product, and careful management of environmental impacts. The modern green home fits neatly into that categorization. The parallels are too beneficial to leave unmentioned.

We eat local for health reasons. Green homes are purpose-built for indoor air quality and occupant comfort, with VOC-free materials and with the same health reasons in mind.

We eat local because we trust the quality products that specialty and boutique farmers provide. The best green homes are purpose-built for longevity and energy-efficient performance, typically by specialized eco-builders who are well-versed in their craft and engaged to each site and situation.

We eat local to promote sustainability and local economies. Building green typically involves minimizing the massive carbon cost of transportation. To that effect, a purpose-built green home utilizes local materials worked and fashioned by local craftsmen employed by local builders who know how to build a home in tune with their region’s unique climate conditions.

However, the act of building a home is arguably much more involved in scale, complexity, and impact than the act of say, growing a tomato. Environmentally speaking, home construction can have a huge, largely destructive, impact. And while foodies and other environmental activists are quick to point out the shortcomings of the agribusiness and food system process, few homeowners, builders, or architects are even aware of how the buildings they live in are potentially killing them and the environment.

Read more at http://bit.ly/1f3RbMs
2
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
"In the green homebuilding sector, the construction and demolition phases of the life of a home are regularly neglected, often in favor of focusing all the attention, and marketable money, on building performance. Unfortunately, this neglect of two critical junctures in the building process has negative environmental consequences that are too often unknown to home buyers and left unaddressed by home builders. The truth is, sustainable homes are as much a process as they are a final resulting product – ignoring the two bookends of that process is hardly a winning recipe for a truly sustainable home.

In the green sector, great effort has been made to constantly improve, enhance, and streamline the environmental performance of homes – typically through measures that greatly increase energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and generating power onsite. By doing so, green proponents hope to mitigate the massive impact buildings have on both energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that buildings account for nearly 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, sucking up a solid three-fourths of the nation’s electricity in the process.

Furthermore, many would be surprised to find that the residential sector, not the commercial sector, consumes over half of the building sector’s electrical energy. In light of these facts, the design and construction of ever more energy efficient homes is indeed a good idea from an environmental standpoint. However, many green home buyers, builders, and other green sector professionals often fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on the building performance aspect of a project, completely ignoring the equally environmentally important and impactful process of actual building construction, and when the time comes, eventual demolition. Unfortunately, these two separate but related phases, construction and demolition (C&D), that bookend the lifespan of all buildings are often obscured from homebuyers who occupy a dwelling only after its completion, and move on well before its destruction. As a result, sustainable C&D is often overlooked by both consumers and home builders."

Read more at http://bit.ly/195U3aE
1
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
When it comes to building the green home of your dreams, the builder you decide to partner with makes a huge difference. Partnering with an inexperienced outfit could be extremely costly financially, and result in a product, your future home, not performing to the green standards specified and expected. In the eco-builder sector, previous experience is key.

Not all homes are created equal. Some are big, some are small. Some are old, some are tall. Some are energy-efficient, while others tend to hemorrhage their owner’s hard-earned money when it gets hot outside. Some promote natural light, adequate ventilation, and carcinogen-free materials. Others promote land developer profits. Regardless, for the prospective green-home buyer it’s all about two things: promoting energy efficiency (performance), and reducing costs (the so-called “green premium” associated with sustainable construction).

Most homebuyers will look to maximize the former while minimizing the latter. That part is not up for debate. The trouble begins when homebuyers, in their zealous pursuit of cost-cutting, misguidedly select a low-cost builder ill-suited for the unique task of building a truly energy efficient home. Hiring a cut-rate builder for any custom job, and especially for a green building job, is rarely a good idea.

Read more at http://bit.ly/1f3O9bd
1
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
What happens when environmental awareness powered by 21st century technology, meets refined elegance with a dash of sensible economics?

The luxury green home is a new modern take on homeownership that elevates the American Dream beyond the McMansions of a pre-recession era. It offers luxurious sensibilities, without sacrificing sustainability, or forgoing a grounded, holistic approach to space-making.

Read more at http://bit.ly/195SARI
1
1
Tom Bagwell's profile photo
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
AVAILABLE: 9902 Lenape Cove - Austin, Texas 78736

Take our online tour here: http://buildnative.com/portfolio/9902-lenape-cove-austin/
1
Add a comment...
Have them in circles
147 people
Sustainability's profile photo
Stephen Brown's profile photo
Residential Solar Power's profile photo
Emma Ellis's profile photo
Storitz's profile photo
Silvana Karamanoleva's profile photo
phil bleu's profile photo
Jason McNally's profile photo
The Art Of Staging's profile photo

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
Local Green Homebuilder ‘Native’ Makes Commitment to Support Hill Country Conservancy

AUSTIN, TX — In an effort to make a commitment to a “green” community, Native a local green homebuilder has agreed to make a significant positive impact on the “Vast Open Spaces” mission of central Texas non-profit Hill Country Conservancy (HCC). Native will make a $500 donation to HCC for every new custom home they build or spec home they sell.

A leader in green construction homes and a renewable energy installer , Native has built company standards based on educating homeowners in environmentally responsible construction, thus making an environmentally sensitive lifestyle available and convenient in a home setting. From water management and eco-quality materials used, to energy efficiency and air quality features, Native is not only recognized as a leader in green construction and renewable systems but is committed to building “green” homes that will save money as well as provide years of enjoyment and pride.

“The relationship between our company values and the work Hill Country Conservancy is doing around central Texas to preserve the very reason folks are moving here in the first place is a natural fit,” Eddie Thomas of Native said. “We work daily to show homeowners how affordable, available, and vital a green lifestyle is when building a new home. If we can take our commitment to the environment one step further by financially supporting a conservation organization like Hill Country Conservancy on behalf of our customers, we feel we are contributing to a bigger picture and making an impact on the future of central Texas.”

Native’s first donation to HCC will come from completing the home of Karen and Dr. Tory Meyer. Dr. Tory Meyer is HCC’s current Board Chair.

“It was extremely important to Karen and myself to build an environmentally responsible home,” Dr. Tory Meyer, HCC Board Chair said, “I knew Native was a great fit for us from the beginning, but when they began to take initiative to create a sustaining relationship with HCC through these donations, we were blown away. We hope, through this partnership, many more builders and developers will see the benefits in conserving important tracts of open space and how simple it is to use this donation model as a means of protecting water, open spaces, and what makes this area so desirable.”

Donations made to HCC through this program will be used to conserve land and pay for associated transaction costs.


Read more at: http://bit.ly/195TTzP
1
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
Our human skins serve a critical role in how our bodies interface with the external environment. It serves as a crucial barrier to would-be microbial invaders and other nasty pathogens, while retaining water, regulating body temperature, and providing the sense of touch – through which we perceive the world. Needless to say, it’s quite important and well worth protecting – a message the skincare industry has studiously capitalized. The market for skincare and anti-aging products is set to hit 114 billion dollars by 2015.

On top of our precious skin we place another layer of protection, comfort, and quite often, personal expression – our clothes. This protective layer forms another layer of added, and adaptable protection. When it’s hot, we put on breathable clothing that will encourage natural ventilation.

When it’s cold, we put on thick, well-insulated coats that trap body heat lost through the skin. When it’s sunny, we put on a hat, or a visor, or sunglasses. When it’s raining, we use an umbrella. We wear what we need, when we need to. In many ways, the sheer variety and variation of situation-specific clothing options from which we can choose for any given situation makes apparel more adaptable than our natural-born skins. In many ways, it is our skin – a kind of second skin. Needless to say, it’s quite important and well worth investing in – a message the fashion industry hasn’t hesitated to capitalize on. The U.S. apparel market, the largest in the world, is valued at 331 billion dollars.

In comparison, the entirety of the green building sector, which includes some 2 million green jobs, barely broke 100 billion dollars in 2013. Yet, without question, the buildings we work in, play in, and live in are of equal if not greater importance than the clothes we buy, or what moisturizer we use. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average American spends in excess of 90 percent of their time indoors. And while we may wear our skins a hundred percent of the time, the fact remains that maintaining comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions ought to be a pressing concern. In a way, the buildings in which we choose to live our lives are very much a kind of “third skin” and are of critical importance to our health and wellbeing."

Read more at http://bit.ly/195T7CZ
2
2
Ralph Saenz's profile photo陈超超's profile photoWLP W's profile photo
 
Yes, the building envelope is like our skin. Great comparison! 
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
Despite the fact that Texas has more than twice the solar potential of any other state, it rarely cracks the Top 10 for installed solar systems. In fact, smaller, less sunny states like New Jersey and Massachusetts consistently rank well above Texas.

Why is this?

One reason is retail electric prices. Texas prices are relatively low. But the other driver is state level policy. Texas has no state policy supporting the adoption of solar. What we do have are a handful of utility level policies. The leader in Texas has traditionally been Austin Energy, the municipally-owned Austin area utility. Local activism, along with some inspired leadership resulted in a rebate program that helped kick start the solar industry back in 2004. Besides their rebate program, the utility instituted some innovative policies, culminating with their Value of Solar Tariff (VOST) that was rolled out in 2012, earning the utility the 2012 Public Power Utility of the Year award from the Solar Electric Power Association.

That was then. How quickly things change.

Since that time, the utility has been promoting a gradual but steady pull back from supporting distributed solar policies. In particular we are currently seeing an effort by the utility to slowly gut the VOST that they established just over a year ago.

Let me back up.

When you own a grid tied solar system, excess electricity that you generate is fed back into the grid. Electricity flows back and forth through your meter, and net-metering is the policy of treating and charging all of this electricity equally. Although there is no state wide net metering policy in Texas, this is fairly common practice throughout the country. The beauty of this policy is its simplicity, but its challenge is that it is often viewed as an incentive to solar homeowners, since in effect, the utility is paying the retail rates for solar electricity that they can otherwise provide at wholesale rates. But clearly, there are benefits to locally produced, clean energy. In fact, this energy may be more valuable than the average retail cost of electricity. But how do we establish this value? Enter the Value of Solar Tariff.

The VOST is not an incentive to solar generators. This rate is based upon several factors, including loss savings, energy savings, generation capacity savings, fuel price hedge value, transmission and distribution capacity savings and environmental benefits. Taken together, these savings are intended to reflect the value of distributed solar energy to the utility — a “break-even” value for a specific kind of distributed generation resource, and a value at which the utility is economically neutral to whether it supplies such a unit of energy or obtains it from the customer. In 2012, Austin Energy set the VOST rate at 12.8 cents/kwh and it is supposed to be “administratively updated’” each year. This is where things get interesting and we need your help.

Instead of taking the existing Value of Solar algorithm and simply updating it with annually changing inputs, Austin Energy changed the entire algorithm. By making subtle changes to underlying assumptions, they have been able to churn out a new Value of Solar Rate of 10.7 cents/kwh for 2014….and it is set to go into effect in three weeks.

Was there stakeholder input into this process? No.

Was a report generated explaining this new rate? No.

Was there approval by City Council on this new rate? No.

Why is this a big deal to you?

If you are an Austin Energy solar customer, then you are losing 15% value on the energy that you generate. This new rate results in a reimbursement that is significantly worse than net-metering for most participants.

If you are not an Austin Energy customer, but a solar advocate, note that Austin Energy has been the standard bearer for utility policy towards solar in Texas, and its policies are closely followed and even mimicked by utilities all over the country. Actions taken by Austin Energy establish precedent for others to follow.

If you are a proponent of solar, then I ask you to contact Austin Energy City Council. Tell them that you do not believe in an opaque valuation of solar energy. Tell them that you want to see a report and involve stakeholder input into the process of determining how solar should be valued.

Make your voice heard, click here (or use this URL: http://bit.ly/196Mxfx) to send an email to Austin City Council."

Read more at http://bit.ly/196MznR
1
Add a comment...

BuildNative

Shared publicly  - 
 
When it comes to building the green home of your dreams, the builder you decide to partner with makes a huge difference. Partnering with an inexperienced outfit could be extremely costly financially, and result in a product, your future home, not performing to the green standards specified and expected. In the eco-builder sector, previous experience is key.

Not all homes are created equal. Some are big, some are small. Some are old, some are tall. Some are energy-efficient, while others tend to hemorrhage their owner’s hard-earned money when it gets hot outside. Some promote natural light, adequate ventilation, and carcinogen-free materials. Others promote land developer profits. Regardless, for the prospective green-home buyer it’s all about two things: promoting energy efficiency (performance), and reducing costs (the so-called “green premium” associated with sustainable construction).

Most homebuyers will look to maximize the former while minimizing the latter. That part is not up for debate. The trouble begins when homebuyers, in their zealous pursuit of cost-cutting, misguidedly select a low-cost builder ill-suited for the unique task of building a truly energy efficient home. Hiring a cut-rate builder for any custom job, and especially for a green building job, is rarely a good idea.
When it comes to building the green home of your dream, the single most important green-builder qualification is experience.
1
Add a comment...

BuildNative
owner

Discussion  - 
 
More Americans like natural gas, according to a new poll — but they’re sure ...
1
Add a comment...
Story
Tagline
Native | Renewable Systems - Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Texas
Introduction

Welcome to Native. We are the leader in green construction and zero energy homes.

From water management, to eco-quality materials used, to energy efficiency and air quality features, Native is not only recognized as a leader in green construction but is committed to building "green" homes that will not only save you money but provide you with years of enjoyment and pride.

At Native, we are defined by our commitment to excellence, innovation, and service. We are attentive to making sure we provide you with a quality home. It begins with our process and hands-on approach, which our customers appreciate.

Contact Information
Contact info
Phone
855-253-6284
Email
Address
Native 201 Cole St Austin, TX 78737
402 Mission St #2 San Antonio, TX 78210
705 N. Bowser Rd #121 Richardson, TX 75081