Build Native http://buildnative.com Leading Green Home Building and Residential/Commercial Solar Power Experts Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:27:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rainwater Ranch: Self-Sufficient Living http://buildnative.com/rainwater-ranch-self-sufficient-living/ http://buildnative.com/rainwater-ranch-self-sufficient-living/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:29:56 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13730 Nestled on 100 acres in Texas Hill Country, this artist’s compound is a colorful gem of self-sufficient living and connection with nature. It is an energy efficient and creative nod to quintessential, self-reliant, Texas ranch living. A heavily integrated design process included builder, client and ...

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self-sufficient living

Nestled on 100 acres in Texas Hill Country, this artist’s compound is a colorful gem of self-sufficient living and connection with nature. It is an energy efficient and creative nod to quintessential, self-reliant, Texas ranch living.

A heavily integrated design process included builder, client and architect and after a careful one year process this design began construction. The homeowners did their own landscaping and incorporated a holistic approach to site planning and landscape, programmed from the beginning of the planning process. Family and community are the focus of this ranch, creating a space where the homeowners could age in place surrounded by family, food, and the Texas countryside.

self-sufficient living

An abundant one acre garden and orchard are watered solely by a 30,000 gallon rainwater collection tank. This tank is also used to water cattle and other livestock on the ranch, providing the family with their food needs. An additional 40,000 rainwater tank provides 100% of the water necessary for domestic water usage. This solar powered compound is complete with a battery backup system to support energy needs for the main house and detached living quarters.

self-sufficent livingThe building envelope integrates 2×6 advanced framing, full fill spray foam insulation and Zip SystemⓇ into an exceptionally energy efficient yet affordable home. Whole home air filtration and a high efficiency CarrierⓇ InfinityⓇ variable speed heat pump provide a comfortable and healthy home environment. No VOC paints and stains were used throughout creating healthy indoor air quality. Low flow water fixtures, dual flush toilets and energy efficient appliances were also used to minimize energy and water usage. Large overhangs and screened porches were essential to reducing the exposure of the intense Texas heat and provide the family with an additional living quarters. Locally handcrafted blacksmith handrails are a beautiful touch that incorporate local materials and support the local economy by employing local artisans.

With the combination of these sustainable features, this home has currently achieved a 10 HERS rating which indicates that this home is 90% more efficient than a standard home built today. The homeowner is already planning an expansion of the solar array to achieve their ultimate goal of having a net zero home (HERS rating of 0).

Homeowners removed invasive species and took special consideration to land stewardship and property management throughout the process of this project. In the past few years Texas has been plagued with drought and wildfires, and the homeowners built this passive solar home in response to the changing landscape. A preliminary Wildfire Defense assessment was incorporated into the building site to minimize risk of loss. Equipped with Firewise stucco exterior and a galvalume reflective metal roof this home is built and designed to local wildfire standards. Additionally, this property has an approved Texas Agricultural Exemption and features the iconic Texas Longhorn, highlighting the effort to be a balanced part of the surrounding environment.

Throughout this house and property the homeowners, builder and architect have shown attention to detail and thoughtful reflection before execution. Adorned with special touches and color at every turn, it is evident that these homeowners love art, cooking, and time with family as much as they love preservation of energy, water and the environment.

See more pictures, video interview with architect Stephen Colley, and more about this self-sufficient home here: Burnet, Texas Custom-Built Sustainable Home

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Solar Site Assessor/PV Service Tech http://buildnative.com/solar-site-assessor/ http://buildnative.com/solar-site-assessor/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:33:54 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13310   Benefits: Paid training Full benefits package for full-time employees Health Vision Dental Insurance Vacation and holiday pay Competitive compensation Hourly pay Cellphone + gas reimbursements Employee referral program   Responsibilities: Interface with customers and internal personnel t...

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solar site

Native, Inc. is a leader in the solar energy market committed to providing its customers with intelligently designed, efficient, and cost effective energy systems. We install solar photovoltaic systems for residential and commercial customers and are responsible for the sale, design, financing, and installation of hundreds of solar energy projects throughout the State of Texas

Native is seeking talented people to join our team, helping to grow our business as the leader in solar energy development. Our rapid growth has created the need for a Solar Site Assessor/PV Service Technician in the Austin/Hill Country area. This position will work closely with our operations team, system designers, electricians and installers.

Solar Site Assessor
Type: Full-time
Open: Immediately
Deadline: August 30, 2015
(or until filled)
Apply Here

 

Benefits:

  • Paid training
  • Full benefits package for full-time employees
    • Health
    • Vision
    • Dental Insurance
    • Vacation and holiday pay
  • Competitive compensation
    • Hourly pay
    • Cellphone + gas reimbursements
  • Employee referral program

 

Responsibilities:

  • Interface with customers and internal personnel to schedule and coordinate site assessments
  • Measure roof area, document obstructions, and evaluate overall roof conditions
  • Access electrical systems and note locations for equipment placement
  • Perform shading analysis using tools such as Solmetric SunEye and/or Solar Pathfinder
  • Address customer questions during site visit and provide a general timeline of expectations
  • Communicate site details to the company’s solar designers and installation teams
  • Create detailed site drawings and photos; sharing reports with a 1-day turnaround
  • Upload/enter data into Native’s shared network and project management systems
  • Set up monitoring equipment at customer’s residence and coordinate a walk-through with customer
  • Coordinate customer equipment package upon final completion of project
  • Troubleshoots and repairs solar PV systems in an efficient and safe manner
  • Provides feedback to sales, design, and install teams for best practice improvement
  • Educates customers on how solar PV systems perform and operate
  • Responds to customer emails and phone calls relating to questions and service requests
  • Lead equipment warranty and vendor RMA processes for customers

 

Requirements

  • 2 yrs solar experience required. preferably in a leadership role; additional construction or roofing experience preferred, including knowledge of electrical, structural and roofing
  • Physically able to lift 50 lbs; ability to carry and set up ladders
  • Willingness to work 10-12 hours per day (if needed) and be on the road for long periods of time
  • Must be able to work in extreme conditions (hot sun and extreme cold)
  • Highly knowledgeable of Structural and NEC Codes
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Software, Google and mobile technology preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills and a positive attitude
  • Must pass pre-employment background check, have a clean driving record, valid Texas driver’s license and reliable transportation

 

Native, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other factor protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.

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Dripping Springs http://buildnative.com/portfolio/dripping-springs-bell-springs-rd/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/dripping-springs-bell-springs-rd/#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2015 20:03:10 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13707 Dripping Springs – Bell Springs Rd. Click Image for Gallery The Bell Springs Rd. project is a near net-zero, energy-efficient home built on a beautiful property overlooking the hill country in Dripping Springs, Texas. With a passive solar design and rainwater collection, this home will a zero-...

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Dripping Springs – Bell Springs Rd.

Click Image for Gallery

The Bell Springs Rd. project is a near net-zero, energy-efficient home built on a beautiful property overlooking the hill country in Dripping Springs, Texas. With a passive solar design and rainwater collection, this home will a zero-energy home when solar is added at a later date.

get started on your home construction project
 
 

Project Features

advanced framing
spray foam insulation
20k gallon rain water collection
Large overhangs
Mini split AC and conventional
Low VOC paint
Energy star appliances
High efficiency Anderson windows

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Lorena http://buildnative.com/portfolio/lorena/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/lorena/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 15:19:56 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13171 Lorena Custom-Built Smart-Energy Home Click Image for Gallery...

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Lorena Custom-Built Smart-Energy Home

Click Image for Gallery

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Teresa Lopez – Green Energy Money http://buildnative.com/teresa-lopez-green-energy-money/ http://buildnative.com/teresa-lopez-green-energy-money/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 19:34:00 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13594 Green Energy Money Founder & CEO Teresa Lopez 1. Tell us about yourself (hobbies, education, family, pets etc.) My hobbies include tai chi (I’m a Red Belt), yoga and all alternative healing modalities. I’m a geek by nature, I study alternative everything-right now I’m studying the carbon and dig...

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green energy money

Green Energy Money Founder & CEO Teresa Lopez

1. Tell us about yourself (hobbies, education, family, pets etc.)
My hobbies include tai chi (I’m a Red Belt), yoga and all alternative healing modalities. I’m a geek by nature, I study alternative everything-right now I’m studying the carbon and digital currency emerging markets intensely; fascinating stuff!

I have an awesome son, daughter-in-law and 4 year old granddaughter who’s the light of my life~ Also 4 brothers and sisters and 15 nieces and nephews most of them live in the DC Metro area.

2. What is your role at Green Energy Money (GEM) and how did you arrive at this career?

I’m Founder and CEO of Green Energy Money, with over 35 years in the mortgage banking industry. Currently I am also a licensed mortgage banker with Weststar Pacific Mortgage and wear two hats. I got interested in the green movement when I owned DreamSource Financial, a green financing mortgage brokerage company founded in 1998 in Boulder.

We cut our teeth, so to speak, on what might be considered the ‘bleeding edge’ of high-performance building; funding the only available green projects available at the time in Taos, Boulder, Santa Fe, Telluride. These were very unique properties, i.e., straw bale, Earth ships, Geodesic Domes, etc.

We got really excited about financing these homes due to their extreme efficiency and no utility hook up to the grid; even water, in 100 degree temperature differential. They were essentially fully operational with no connection to the grid, as well as comfortable to live in. It shifted my perception about the possibility of net-zero homes, this was happening from1998 all the way to the market crash in 2008. Of course, the design of most of these homes weren’t main stream, but the systems were extraordinary.

3. What is your experience in working with Native?

Native has been a complete joy to work with. Our corporate cultures are a great match; honestly, integrity, passionate service, PEOPLE PLANET, PROFT, and so on.

Our experience with the Native team members has been positive from day one! Starting with the owner-partners and down to the project managers, literally everyone works together like a well-oiled machine. They are among the most competent, reliable, knowledgeable and top 5% highest-performance builders we work with nationwide. They have cracked the code for net-zero and consistently over achieve their client’s energy goals; averaging a HERS 10 Index! They also finish on time consistently – a rarity with many custom builders.

The construction process can be very intense; coupled with financing and green economics, it’s extremely important that the financing and building team are aligned and creating an exceptional experience for their clients. Everyone needs to think outside the box and be able to come up with viable solutions to any challenges that arise; and they inevitably do when working within the constraints of both the construction and financial industry.

4. What advice do you have for homeowners who are looking to build a net zero home and need financing?

Get clear about your budget. When receiving multiple builder bids, always assume the worst case to prepare for contingencies. Really question lower bids. Many times we see homeowners choosing the builder with the lower bid, but often they ending up paying more at the end because the project wasn’t bid properly or was under budget.

Don’t skimp on high-performance measures. This can end up costing more over the project life cycle in operating expenses. We have already proven, many times over, that the higher the home’s performance, the greater the savings and paybacks.

Vet your lender team and make sure they understand that your project is high-performance and it will take a little more competency to handle the transaction. Especially the appraisal. If they don’t have experience in green financing, or a green appraiser that is competent to appraise the project it can cause a lot of challenges; possibly requiring more money down. Bottom line – question everything!

For more info on GEM, visit: http://greenenergy.money/

Also, check out Teresa’s article: Back to the Future – Retrofitting America’s Building Stock for Existing Homes, Part 1

green energy money

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7 Reasons to Not Go Solar http://buildnative.com/7-reasons-to-not-go-solar/ http://buildnative.com/7-reasons-to-not-go-solar/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:38:24 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13525 Want to go solar? Here are 7 reasons you shouldn’t. 1. This can’t possibly power our homes and businesses. 2. Nobody else is going solar. 3. Fossil fuels are good for the environment. 4. Solar panels won’t increase my home value. 5. Solar panels are ugly. 6. No one gets excited about having an...

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solar panels
Want to go solar? Here are 7 reasons you shouldn’t.

1. This can’t possibly power our homes and businesses.
go solar

2. Nobody else is going solar.
go solar

3. Fossil fuels are good for the environment.
go solar

4. Solar panels won’t increase my home value.
solar homes sell for more

5. Solar panels are ugly.
solar is beautiful

6. No one gets excited about having an electric bill with a credit.
go solar

7. Solar is only for rich people.
solar is cheap

Think that it is difficult to find out if solar is for you?

It’s not.

get started on your solar project
We will be able to determine if your home is a good candidate for a solar array
in 10 minutes or less.

* Solar panels, not just for rich homeowners anymore – Fortune
* Solar growth rates – SEIA
* Solar Increases home value – Forbes

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Interview with Texas Solar Energy Society’s Lucy Stolzenburg http://buildnative.com/texas-solar-energy-society/ http://buildnative.com/texas-solar-energy-society/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 23:21:43 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?p=13509 Lucy Stolzenburg Texas Solar Energy Society Executive Director Tell us a bit about yourself (education, hobbies, family, pets etc.) I have a BA degree in Journalism, but my work background is very eclectic. I have traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, once spending four months in India an...

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Lucy Stolzenburg
Texas Solar Energy Society Executive Director

Texas Solar Energy Society

Tell us a bit about yourself (education, hobbies, family, pets etc.)
I have a BA degree in Journalism, but my work background is very eclectic. I have traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, once spending four months in India and Nepal. I look forward to more travel in the next few years but for now, the Texas Solar Energy Society needs my attention as we look to the future of renewable energy and a greater degree of solar adoption in this very sunny state. I live in Dripping Springs with my husband and three dogs, probably the fewest number of pets in 20 years. At last our son has moved back to Austin after admitting that Boston winters are horrendous and it’s more fun here.

How were you introduced to solar?
In 2007 I was fired from a job where I made buckets of money, but hated the work. I took many months off to take care of elderly family members who were putting on their flying shoes. When they became late, I volunteered for the Austin Cool House Tour, a collaboration of the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) and Austin Energy Green Building. I had been involved earlier with Green Building as a Realtor and wanted to explore it further. In that down time in 2007, I heard Ed Mazria, who had just created Architecture 2030 and the 2030 Challenge- that all new buildings developments and major renovations shall be carbon neutral by 2030. I was hooked. I volunteered for TXSES, which became a job, which became a career.

What is your role in Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES)?
I’ve been the Executive Director since 2012.

What do you feel is the future of solar?
The Texas Solar Energy Society concentrates on solar adoption for homes and businesses so I won’t delve into utility scale solar. In the future solar will become so accessible to homeowners and businesses that it will just be a part of the built environment. I have a joke that makes my board nervous- I want to print a bumper sticker that says, “Solar is just an appliance.” I do think the utilities are going to bite back hard at solar, but if I live long enough, I believe I will see a diminishing number of lines and poles in the landscape.

If we could each do one thing to make a change to promote solar what do you think it would be?
This is not really a change, just something to ramp up. Solar is contagious, and if you put people who have solar with people who are interested in solar, it expands the conversation and ultimately the adoption exponentially. We should all badger our representatives in Washington to continue the Federal Tax Credit for residential solar beyond 12/2016. Those representatives need to be reminded that the tax assistance to fossil fuels is ridiculously huge and so deeply imbedded in the tax code that you need a klieg light to find it.

What would you say to someone who is investigating solar?
Go to our website: http://www.txses.org/solar/ (a new website is in the works) and please take a look at your utility bill to understand how many kilowatt hours of energy you use each month.

What changes have you made in your life to live as efficiently as possible?
Back in 2007 when I started getting interested in energy efficiency, I changed out all our lightbulbs to CFLs and dropped our electric bill by 20%. I installed a metal roof last year that is raised on lath for ventilation in summer months and I just had a 17 SEER dual stage HVAC system installed. I drive a Prius and get 46 mpg.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It sometimes seems difficult to get the general populace to recognize that a 10-12 year payback (I’m talking no incentives but the FITC) is such a short period of time. Take into consideration the value of a free fuel source, a practically indestructible hardware setup with a long warranty, and the opportunity to say “no” to a future of continuing oil spills, destroyed habitat, dirty air and water shortages. The largest purchasers of residential/commercial solar are ages 45-60, perhaps because they have a more realistic understanding of time. The purchasers should really be the younger generation as they will benefit the most. Our society has created ridiculous expectations for very short term financial gains.

texas solar energy society

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Willow Street http://buildnative.com/portfolio/willow-street/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/willow-street/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:25:21 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13508 Willow Street – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Willow Street Project is a 4.86kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 270W LG solar panels, 18 Solar Edge Power Optimizers, and a Solar Edge 3800 centralized inverter. Our Willow Street client can expect to generate ...

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Willow Street – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Willow Street Project is a 4.86kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 18 270W LG solar panels, 18 Solar Edge Power Optimizers, and a Solar Edge 3800 centralized inverter. Our Willow Street client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

4.86kW Solar Array
(18) 270W LG Solar Panels
(18) Solar Edge Power Optimizers
(1) Solar Edge 3800 Centralized Inverter

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Shavano Cove http://buildnative.com/portfolio/shavano-cove/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/shavano-cove/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 20:00:50 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13493 Shavano Cove – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Shavano Cove Project is a 4.00kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 16 250W PHONO solar panels and a SunnyBoy 4000 centralized inverter. Our Shavano Cove client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance ...

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Shavano Cove – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Shavano Cove Project is a 4.00kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 16 250W PHONO solar panels and a SunnyBoy 4000 centralized inverter. Our Shavano Cove client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

4.00kW Solar Array
(16) 250W PHONO Solar Panels
(1) SMA SunnyBoy 4000 Centralized Inverter

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Covered Bridge Drive http://buildnative.com/portfolio/covered-bridge-drive/ http://buildnative.com/portfolio/covered-bridge-drive/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 19:22:01 +0000 http://buildnative.com/?post_type=portfolio&p=13480 Covered Bridge Drive – Austin, TX Click Image for Gallery The Covered Bridge Drive Project is a 7.56kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 28 270W LG solar panels, 28 solar edge optimizers, and a Solar Edge 7600W centralized inverter. Our Covered Bridge Drive client can exp...

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Covered Bridge Drive – Austin, TX

Click Image for Gallery

The Covered Bridge Drive Project is a 7.56kW residential solar photovoltaic (PV) array consisting of 28 270W LG solar panels, 28 solar edge optimizers, and a Solar Edge 7600W centralized inverter. Our Covered Bridge Drive client can expect to generate a minimum of 25 years, maintenance free, clean energy from this NATiVE solar array, offsetting hundreds of tons of CO2 over it’s lifetime.

get started on your residential solar project
 
 

Project Features:

7.56kW Solar Array
(28) 270W LG Solar Panels
(28) P300 Solar Edge Optimizers
(1) Solar Edge 7600W Centralized Inverter

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