The technology in designing homes is reaching new and dizzying heights. In the case of a new Linwood home build for Flagstaff residents David and Lisa Actor, the application of different techniques and scenarios were studied through computer-based software to simulate the energy usage of the house and compares it to a baseline. “This helps us simplify the design process and assists us in viewing the life-cycle impacts of design changes while comparing various design schemes,” said builder Ian Hublitz with Green Mountain Construction. “This provides valuable data to reach energy saving goals for the building before we ever put a shovel in the ground.”

The house was designed by Aude Stang at Architectural Design Studio and she worked closely with Hublitz and Christie Dennis from Building Energy Performance. That company did the energy model prior to construction. This helped the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom Energy Star home achieve efficiencies for its 2,000 square feet. The home, too, features durable materials in its construction that gives it an elemental feel—from the metal roof to the reclaimed lumber accents and exterior barn doors to the concrete floors. “The Actors wanted a house that was low maintenance so we used lots of durable materials throughout,” Hublitz noted.

He added, “Aude and I applied what we like to call the ‘Integrated Design Approach’ for this project. It is an enhanced design-build team that makes the whole experience easier and more enjoyable for the clients. And, with the help of Christie Dennis we are able to design and build homes that perform as well as they look while being environmentally responsible.”

—    Seth Muller

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