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Fernando Feldman

Go Green Construction

818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com

www.GoGreenCalifornia.com​

 

MEASURE HOW GREEN A HOME IS THROUGH PERFORMANCE TESTING

by Fernando Feldman and Judy Rachel

 

The green revolution in residential building was in large part established and fueled by various accrediting groups such as the US Green Building Council with their LEED certification, Build It Green with their GreenPoint Rated ratings and the government’s HERS ratings (Home Energy Efficiency Rating System).  These programs have promoted best green building practices, technologies, material choices, given ratings based on installed measures and set minimum standards as the way to realize the global goal of sustainability.  Groundbreaking as these checklist ratings were, they in no way guaranteed the so- called green performance, or to be more precise, the energy efficiency, durability, health, safety or comfort levels of a home. 

 

The essential component missing from these checklist standards is a contractor whose goals for your home are based in measuring the performance of the house and its systems.  Unfortunately, the majority of contractors calling themselves “green” have no way of knowing whether their installations are actually performing.  It is not a common practice within the contracting industry to set performance goals or to perform work beyond minimum standards.  The typical green contractor sells a workscope based upon checklist rating programs, manufacturer claimed efficiencies or products linked to rebate money.  Often these services, fixes and products are inappropriate for the home, neither providing solutions or being installed efficaciously.  The typical contractor offers no performance goals for installed checklist measures. 

 

The good news is that there is a subset of contractors who make it their business to work beyond minimum standards and deliver efficiency.  They call themselves home performance contractors.  This contractor will be noticeably different in their approach to your project.  They will want to see a year’s worth of your utility bills, they will talk to you about how your home’s systems function, and they will ask you questions about how you operate your home.  Some of the questions they might ask are: What does it feel like to be in different rooms – hot, cold, stuffy, damp?  Do you turn your heating or cooling off when you are not at home?  Is your home dusty? Do you and your family get colds often, have allergies or asthma, sneeze or cough when inside?  How long does it take for you to get hot water? Do you notice moisture around your home or have any type of flooding events?  Does your home have ventilation fans?  Do you use them?  The home performance contractor will arrive with equipment to run diagnostic tests on your home, testing the heating and cooling systems, the ventilation fans, the building itself, the duct system, the water heater, the stove, oven, fireplace – the list goes on.  This contractor will crawl into the nooks and crannies of your house, exploring the attic and crawlspace, doing a complete visual inspection interior and exterior, in addition to their diagnostic testing.  

 

What does all this testing, questioning and investigation accomplish?  At the end of the day this contractor will know how your home is performing in terms of: 1) energy use, 2) durability of the structure, 3) the degree of comfort the house is providing to you 4) possible safety concerns relating to electrical, moisture and combustion, 5) whether the nasty air from your attic, crawlspace and walls is entering your home and therefore being breathed by your family.  Armed with this knowledge this contractor will offer you solutions rather than widgets.  Wouldn’t you rather have a contractor who wants to create solutions for you and your home rather than sell you products, ratings and services?  

 

Since the home performance contractor’s solutions are based in the knowledge gained from their diagnostic testing and thorough evaluation of your home they are able to provide you with clear, measurable goals and targets for your castle.  These measurable performance goals enable the home performance contractor to set efficiency targets which they will meet or exceed upon completion of their contracted work scope.  These performance goals provide valuable feedback loops to the contractor, which means you are dealing with a contractor who continually knows they are providing results not just installations.  

 

Home performance contractors work with the most appropriate technologies and materials for you and your home.  This is combined with a deep sense of the old-fashioned virtues of good workmanship, intelligent planning, and painstaking attention to detail.*

 

This attention to the pertinent details of installation quality is another important distinguishing characteristic of the home performance contractor.  Nothing is efficient when poorly installed not insulation, not a heating or cooling system, nor a ventilation fan, nor a water heater.  Home performance contracting is based on setting performance goals with the intent to achieve energy efficiency, comfort and structural durability along with health and safety within your home.Only by incorporating performance criteria are green ideals made real and true green reached.  

 

*For a detailed account of one such undertaking see “A Demonstrated Success in Energy Upgrades” by Fernando Feldman, QR, April 2013.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:

Fernando Feldman
Go Green Construction
818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com

www.GoGreenCalifornia.com



GO GREEN PROVIDES REMARKABLE 72 PERCENT ENERGY SAVINGS FOR LOS ANGELES FAMILY HOME

by Fernando Feldman and Stephen Li

SHERMAN OAKS, CA - April 1, 2013 -- With its mission to “minimize the impact on the environment using energy-conscious building practices”, Go Green Construction (Go Green or GGC) has strongly committed itself to sustainability. To remain up-to-date with economic demands and current technology, owner Fernando Feldman has followed up on Go Green’s Build-it-Green certification by pursuing a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certificate. BPI sets the “standards for energy efficiency retrofit work using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science.”



The BPI certification in hand, Fernando and his team have joined utility companies like So Cal Gas Co. and So Cal Edison in bringing sustainable homes to residents in the LA region. This program, Energy Upgrade California, has led many area homeowners to reconsider their home remodeling projects.

One GGC client’s home in particular has achieved a remarkable, even extraordinary, improvement in energy savings.



Meadowcrest is located in the hills of Sherman Oaks, shaded by several trees and well-positioned to receive natural lighting. The home was originally built in 1963, and has been subjected to several interior remodels over the years, which have resulted in instances of water damage and mold growth, as well as poor insulation and considerable air leakage. Indeed, GGC’s first task was to test the kitchen for mold as the clients had noticed a black stain growing around the kitchen cabinets. Mold from a refrigerator water leak had spread and contaminated a large portion of the drywall and cabinets. GGC removed any and all mold spores, removed the damaged cabinets, and replaced the drywall.



GGC’s contract called for remodeling a large portion of the Meadowcrest home: floors to be changed, a part of the roof repaired, walls moved, the unused fireplace removed, and the kitchen redone. GGC also suggested the client employ the Energy Upgrade California program, which enables savings of up to 40% (as advertised) on the home’s utility bills and, in addition, provides for rebates of as much as $8,000.



Initially, GGC knew it could go above and beyond the advertised energy savings, but even it was surprised its methods of sustainable building would have the dramatic result of 72% in savings.



During pre-construction, GGC performed an energy test to determine existing conditions. The tests included a blower door test for air leakage in the walls, doors, windows and ceiling as well as a duct blaster test of the efficiency of the HVAC ducts. GGC also performed a combustion safety test on all the combustion appliances, for example, the gas oven, dryer, etc. Employing a model derived from the Energy Pro program, GGC was able to compare the home’s existing conditions and a proposed condition model. The proposed energy savings came out to 45%.



During construction, Go Green used smart building techniques to maximize the home’s energy efficiency: meticulous air sealing of the building envelope; duct mastic used at all electrical boxes; fire proof caulking on all seams of recessed light housing; calculation of the specifics of the wall system to address any dew points that could cause problems with moisture in the wall; assuring the quality of the installation of ceiling and wall insulation; replacing the HVAC system using a Manual J,D, & S, which guarantees its proper fit and function; adding insulation in the HVAC ducts to prevent leakage and temperature change, and promoting efficient air flow to the rooms.



Test-out procedures repeated the initial tests. Go Green was able to compare the real post-construction results to the proposed results. Because of Go Green’s excellent job the home achieved 72% energy savings. Factors contributing to this number included the outstanding job Go Green did with air sealing the ceiling and walls, and its replacing the original 10 SEER 5 ton HVAC unit with a 1.5 ton 13 SEER unit. Adding R-38 insulation to the ceiling and R30 insulation to the walls created a comfortable and balanced air temperature from room to room.

In a nutshell: Go Green’s long experience in sustainable construction, its application of the latest technical advances in rational construction and its dedicated and well-conceived craftsmanship while employing only standard construction materials have enabled Meadowcrest’s current HVAC system to consume less energy than a typical hair dryer.



More information about Go Green Construction and its other case study homes can be found online at www.GoGreenCalifornia.com.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:



CONTACT:

Fernando Feldman

Go Green Construction

818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com

www.GoGreenHomeLA.com



​LOS ANGELES GREEN HOME TOUR PROVIDES BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT GREEN CONSTRUCTION

Tour participants learn about sustainable design, construction, and materials at The Go Green Home

PLAYA DEL REY, CA - August 31, 2009 -- Green Construction held its final construction-phase tour at The Go Green Home on August 29, 2009 from 11am - 3pm. This tour offered almost 100 visitors an inside look at the cutting edge design and construction practices that have created this highly efficient home.



"I believe green is 80% planning, 20% materials," says owner/builder Fernando Feldman who shared many of his trade secrets with tour-goers on the 29th. "We took the time upfront to design a house that requires less energy, less water, and fewer materials, and this has made the biggest impact. To take one small example, this house is fully lit during daylight hours without a single bulb being turned on."



Feldman introduced the tour goers to various green home systems including; high-efficiency insulation, Typar weather protection, Life|ware home automation and lighting control, STEP Warmfloor radiant heat, water filtration, and grey water recycling. A photo montage on the ground floor depicted the deconstruction process employed by Go Green Construction that enabled it to recycle 95% of the pre-existing structure. TOTO, a sponsor of the Go Green Home, had representatives on-site educating tour goers on the availability and benefits of low flow plumbing fixtures and dual flush toilets.



Tour goers ranged from students to industry professionals, with a majority of visitors coming from the green, design, architectural and real estate industries.



The Go Green Home is the first single-family residence to have an eco-elevator, and yet this efficient home is 63% above CA's Title 24 Standards for energy efficiency, where the vast majority of such residences exceed this standard by a scant 1-2%. At the end of this year, the finished Go Green Home will opens its doors to demonstrate the benefits of using renewable energy sources, highly efficient plumbing fixtures and insulation, and environmentally friendly finish materials.



Feldman is quick to add, "And far from imposing limited and austere design choices, as some may mistakenly think, green is hospitable to and even encourages a wide range of innovative design solutions. The Go Green Home is a living model of the many ways families can go green in their homes and their lives."



More information about this project can be found online at www.TheGoGreenHome.com.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


CONTACT:
Fernando Feldman
Go Green Construction
818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com
www.GoGreenHomeLA.com

THE GO GREEN HOME ANNOUNCES TOTO AS SPONSOR

PLAYA DEL REY, CA - April 15, 2009 -- The Go Green Home is pleased to announce that TOTO is among the sponsors of this pre-rated LEED Platinum single family residence in Playa Del Rey, CA.

The Go Green Home, a living laboratory of green design, will open in Summer 2009 to educate the public and building industry professionals in building and living greener. This residence is a design/build project by Go Green Construction being developed as a case study in optimizing energy efficiency, durability, indoor air quality, and water conservation.

"TOTO's dual flush and single-flush high-efficiency toilets have been incorporated into our plan from day one. With its efficient, sophisticated product line, it was an easy choice for our eco-luxury home," said owner/builder Fernando Feldman.

"Since 1917, TOTO has actively advanced environmental stewardship," said Lenora Campos, a company spokesperson. "Today, we stand ready to help Californians meet Governor Schwarzenegger's demand for an immediate 20% reduction in their water consumption with high-efficiency toilets, faucets, and shower systems. To that end, we are pleased to sponsor The Go Green Home and its mission to advance LEED for Homes rating system in the state."

Development of this high performance home has involved many pre-construction steps including: design charrettes, consideration of site orientation and solar modeling, extensive materials research, and advanced engineering techniques. Among its green features are: the deconstruction of the pre-existing structure (with 95% of all material diverted from the landfill), an abundance of natural daylight and a 5.6 kW solar array, a gray water recycling system, home automation, and living walls. The home is 62% above California's Title 24 Building Standards, an improvement, which, the company believes, must soon become the rule, not the exception.

"In participating in LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a program of rating Green Buildings, set forth by US Green Building Council], we knew its parameters for sustainability and environmentally progressive issues would be involved in every decision in our design process and in our choice and use of materials," said Feldman. "Further, in partnering with significant corporations such as TOTO, who are like-minded and environmentally conscious, we know we are committing to a project undertaken at the right time, with the right message. We are delighted to have found a company offering high quality products, and wholly committed to being green.

"We are certain The Go Green Home will prove a new home can be built without a huge carbon footprint, and whose homeowner will not have to compromise comfort, cost, or convenience in achieving a high level of green."

For more information please visit
www.GoGreenHomeLA.com.

About Go Green Construction, Inc.
Go Green Construction is a full-service design-build company serving the greater Los Angeles area. Owner Fernando Feldman is a certified green builder, and has over 30 years of experience in the construction industry; he is passionate about implementing energy-conscious, sustainable building practices that will benefit his clients and generations to follow. For more information about Go Green Construction please visit
www.gogreencalifornia.com.

About TOTO
TOTO is the largest plumbing manufacturer in the world with over $4.5 billion in annual sales and 80 affiliated production facilities globally. Since 1917, TOTO Ltd., Japan, has been a pioneer in high-performance plumbing systems that bring consumers superbly designed products that are water and energy efficient. In 1989, TOTO brought its innovative technology and commitment to excellence to the US market. A full line manufacturer of luxury plumbing products that optimize healthful living, TOTO USA, INC.'s success derives from its unsurpassed commitment to quality, reliability, technological innovation, and sustainability -- a commitment that pushes the company beyond industry standards. The winner of numerous domestic and international awards and recognitions, TOTO USA is certified by ISO 14001: 2004 and ISO 9001: 2000. The only plumbing manufacturer to be honored as Water Efficiency Leader by the Environmental Protection Agency, TOTO seeks perfection by design as it continuously innovates sustainable water technologies that enhance the lives of its customers and the environment. For more information, consumers may visit
www.totousa.com or call 1.888.295.8134.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


CONTACT:
Fernando Feldman
Go Green Construction
818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com
www.GoGreenHomeLA.com

THE GO GREEN HOME CASE STUDY DEMONSTRATES EFFICACY OF GREEN BUILDING
This Live Model of Green Design Proves that Building Green is Cost Effective and Yields Maximum Environmental Benefits

WESTCHESTER, CA, January 10, 2009 -- Residents of Westchester, Ca, a charming LAX adjacent community, have witnessed the construction of scores of new homes and apartment complexes in the last decade. In many cases, the footprints of these developments are massive and have an adverse impact on the area. Go Green Construction, Inc. is developing a model of green building excellence in the heart of this neighborhood demonstrating that homes can be built with minimal environmental impact. This case-study home, The Go Green Home will be completed by 2009 and preparations are underway to make tours and workshops available which will offer the public, environmentalists, developers, designers and community leaders the opportunity to explore the results of green building and lifestyle choices.

The Go Green Home is a 4,300 square foot living laboratory of green design, materials, and innovation and is pre-rated for LEED platinum, the highest green building standard set forth by the US Green Building Council. It is the first home in this neighborhood to have a 5.6 kW solar array, grey water recycling system, home automation, and living walls. The home is 62% above California's Title 24 Building Standards, and the company is hoping that soon this will be the standard, not the rule.

Go Green Construction created this case-study to demonstrate that a home can be made for efficiency and endurance, while the costs remain competitive with conventional construction. "We want homeowners to see how easy and cost-effective it is to make green choices when building or remodeling," says Feldman.
The pre-existing structure has been carefully deconstructed, with 95% of materials being reused or recycled. The Go Green Home is now framed, and the grand opening is scheduled for late Spring 2009. For questions about green building or more information visit
www.gogreencalifornia.com/case.html.

About Go Green Construction, Inc.
We are providers of sustainable building solutions for Southern California. We pride ourselves on delivering quality craftsmanship using renewable materials. We have decades of experience serving the residential market in Southern California, providing expert consulting, design and construction services. Our creations offer an attractive alternative to traditional construction while promoting a healthier environment for our clients and the planet.


UPDATE:


THE GO GREEN HOME PROJECT UNDERWAY

WESTCHESTER, CA, September 17, 2007 -- The project we call The Go Green Home is a 4,391 square foot home we are building in the Westchester area of Los Angeles. It is a living laboratory of green design, materials and innovation; check our website for more information at gogreencalifornia.blogspot.com. Today we met with Shellie Collier, our LEED A.P. (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design - Accredited Professional) who will guide us through the process of becoming LEED certified. We are aiming for Platinum, the highest rating granted by the United States Green Building Council.

Shellie documents the entire pre-construction and construction process, and at its conclusion submits a notebook to the USGBC for review and certification. This notebook details each step taken, from preservation of existing landscape to ordering of materials to installation of Forest Stewardship Council-certified framing products.

We are maintaining our own notebook to mirror Shellie's, page for page, notation for notation. Every detail is documented: for example, one LEED requirement stipulates the home must be located near open space. This is established using Google maps; the page is printed, the URL noted and copies inserted into each notebook. LEED demands this same attention to detail for every aspect of the building that has the potential to earn points.

Shellie is an independent contractor working for Davis Energy Group, a USGBC-designated LEED for Homes organization in California. She is a designer-builder-project manager in her own right; check out her webpage at
www.homagedesign.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


CONTACT:
Fernando Feldman
Go Green Construction
818-718-7477

stephen@goreencalifornia.com
www.GoGreenCalifornia.com

FOUNDATION EXCAVATION UNDERWAY AT GREGORIO RESIDENCE

LAKE BALBOA, CA, July 11, 2007 -- Today we are pouring the concrete foundation of the Gregorio residence remodeling project in Lake Balboa, CA. We utilized a high-fly ash content concrete as part of our commitment to make this remodel as "green" as possible.
Over half the electricity produced in the U.S. comes from coal-fired power plants. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal burning and can be substituted for more than half of the Portland cement typically used in a concrete mixture. Use of fly ash in concrete is beneficial to the environment in several ways:
1. It keeps the fly ash from entering the waste stream
2. It saves the energy ordinarily used to manufacture Portland cement
3. It needs 10% less water than traditional concrete
Because less water is used with high fly ash concrete, and because of the chemical reaction between the fly ash and lime which is given off in cement hydration, the end product is denser and stronger than traditional Portland cement-based concrete. Fly ash is made up of tiny, glassy beads; its physical composition creates a lubricating effect which enables the concrete to flow and pump better, filling the forms more completely. Additionally, high-fly ash concrete costs the same as or sometimes slightly less than traditional concrete.
According to Headwaters Resources, for every ton of cement manufactured about one ton of carbon dioxide is released. Replacing that ton of cement with fly ash saves enough electricity to power the average American home for 24 days, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions equal to two months' use of an automobile.
Producer R. J. Bain from Discovery Home's "Green That House" program was onsite today filming the pour - they've been tracking the progress and filming various "green" elements as the remodel moves forward.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:



CONTACT:
Fernando Feldman
Go Green Construction
818-718-7477​​​

stephen@goreencalifornia.com
www.GoGreenCalifornia.com


EXCAVATION UNDERWAY AT GREGORIO RESIDENCE

LAKE BALBOA, CA, June 25, 2007 -- The mini-excavator and our crew were busy digging the foundation of the green addition to the Gregorio residence. For this adaptive-reuse project we're using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) that are put together like a puzzle. These will create the floors and walls of the addition. SIPs consist of a dense, 10" layer of foam sandwiched between large sheets of engineered wood panels. This combination creates an insulation barrier that outperforms traditional fiberglass batt insulation up to 300%.​




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