Although new technologies are constantly be developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and on the natural environment, began Richard Bergman as we toured his latest design at 124 N. Cayuga Rd. in the Village of Williamsville.

The answer is more complicated than you might think — looking at where the energy is produced and then how the energy is measured.

The simple answer would be that a Net-Zero home produces as much energy as it uses. But it’s not that easy. The vast majority of homes in the U.S. are on the grid, so we will not discuss off-grid homes here.

A Passive House is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and ecological at the same time. Passive Houses are heated primarily by the sun, they capture the the sun’s energy in the form of heat, using the design and construction of the home itself to eliminate the need for a conventional heat source. Superior insulation, airtight construction, energy-efficient windows and carefully controlled ventilation are essential components of the home’s construction.

“If houses could be heard, the Bergman home would resound with sighs of utter content. Tranquil and soothing, this fifties ranch seamlessly connects inner and exterior spaces to create a spa-like feel so peaceful it could double as a Zen retreat.”

“Early work was structural. They gutted everything, raising the ceiling and tearing down the walls to create an open floor plan out of five distinct rooms. The original house was multi-level, and the Bergman’s maintained that, adding levels to the outdoor space as well.”

We install can install I-joists in your home. I-joists are more versatile than open web floor trusses, and more uniform and dimensionally stable than lumber. They are used extensively in residential floor and roof framing.

Benefits include:

  • Quick Installation: Weighs less than traditional lumber.

Leaky homes are hard to heat and hard to cool. Every home has air leaks, but the cumulative amount of leaks can vary widely based on the air sealing efforts. The only way to know whether your home is leaky or tight is to measure its air leakage rate with a blower door. A blower door is a tool which is comprised of a calibrated fan, a mounting system to attach the fan to an exterior door, and a manometer which measures pressure.

Central air conditioning and heating are the top energy consumers in homes, so ensuring the efficiency of your entire HVAC system can yield big improvements in energy efficiency. When we think about saving energy, we usually focus on the furnace and air conditioner units, but a leaky duct system can reduce your climate control system’s efficiency 20% to 30%. These leaks can bring unwanted dust, unconditioned outdoor air and humidity into your living space-and take money straight out of your wallet.

One of our Green+ options is to use Superior Walls® system, several of our clients have asked for the extra protection and savings when building their home. The Superior Walls® system has superior warmth and energy efficiency, and meets or exceeds energy conservation requirements from both the 2009 IECC and the 2009 IRC in most climate zones. Nearly everything is insulated including corners, studs and bond beams. Special engineering makes the wall thermally isolated and insulated from the exterior elements.

Tankless water heaters, also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with storage water heaters, which can save you money.

Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. Either a gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water.

Maybe the notion of turning the Buffalo Niagara region into a hub for solar energy wasn’t such an out-of-the-blue idea after all.

While Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is making a big bet on the solar industry through the state’s $750 million investment to build North America’s biggest solar panel factory for SolarCity in South Buffalo, it always seemed like the whole plan was a bit of a geographic mismatch, like making Miami the nation’s center for winter coat manufacturing.

Geothermal energy is continuously produced inside the earth. Geothermal heating units use the earths natural heat to warm and cool your home for sustainable, environmentally friendly comfort. The Earth is like a “solar battery” absorbing nearly half of the sun’s energy. The ground stays a relatively constant temperature throughout the seasons, providing a warm heat source in the winter and a cool heat sink in the summer that keeps your home with constant comfort. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy recognize geothermal systems as the most environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and cost effective way to heat and cool a home.

A brand new system of solar modules has been created specifically for residential rooftops. MiaSolé Flex Series solar modules are lightweight, flexible modules that retain the aesthetic appeal of the roof, provide superior wind resistance and seismic resistance, and don’t require any additional structural support.


August 2005

Your source for current news and announcements about the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (I.D.E.A) in Buffalo, NY.

Jordana Maisel Editor
Heamchand Subryan Technical Assistant

Danise Levine, Assistant Director of the IDEA Center and Richard Bergman from Heartland Homes collaborated on the design of a universally designed model home that was included in the 2005 Horizon Home Show. Sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association, this year’s home show was located at Lake Forest in Amherst, New York and consisted of eight homes built in a new suburban tract. The show ran from July 9th through July 24th.

To make the world a greener place, to bring solar to new heights of technological innovation, and to offer an elegant option to those who believe in sustainability for a better energy and environmental future. Smartflower was founded in Austria, a country steeped in a heritage of design, innovation, and manufacturing excellence. Energy Management Inc. (EMI), a Boston, MA corporation with over 43 years of experience developing large energy projects, acquired Smartflower in 2018.