Building a Solar Ready Home


When building a new home, you have the opportunity to build it correctly from the beginning, saving yourself thousands of dollars. With some upfront planning, you can ensure that your home is ready for an optimized solar array, maximizing the output of your system and minimizing the installation cost.

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The Future and Solar Power

The Future and Solar


Build NATiVE CEO Lloyd Lee was proud to speak with the next generation of solar power supporters at two events in Central Texas: his daughter’s second grade class at Dripping Springs Elementary School and the annual Science Day at Eanes Elementary School. Getting out in the sun was both exciting and educational!

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Thirsty Planet Brewery

Thirsty Planet Going Build NATiVE


Thirsty Planet, a local Austin brewer, contracted NATiVE to convert an existing 50,000 square foot building into their new brewery and tasting room. This collaboration enables Thirsty Planet to dramatically increase their brewing capacity without sacrificing their commitment to sustainability and the environment.

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birthing center

Powering a Birthing Center in Haiti with Solar


A nonprofit birthing center in the impoverished country of Haiti was not even tied to the unreliable electrical grid. Build NATiVE volunteers raised funds, flew to Haiti, and installed an off-grid solar inverter to provide solar power to the clinic.

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zero energy home

Cool House Tour 2016


The Cool House Tour 2016 features one Build NATiVE net-zero custom home and two Build NATiVE solar installations in Austin. The Cool House Tour is an annual, self-guided tour featuring energy efficient homes, produced by Austin Energy Green Building and Texas Solar Energy Society.

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building envelope

Spray Foam Insulation


When building an energy efficient, net-zero home in Texas, it is vital to eliminate or greatly reduce energy loss with a high performance thermal envelope. Spray foam insulation, an alternative to traditional building insulation such as fiberglass, saves on energy costs and greatly lowers utility bills.

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energy efficiency upgrade

Elements of a Net Zero Home in Texas


There are six key ingredients to a net zero energy home. Learn more about how to achieve net zero energy usage with proper orientation, responsive envelope design, rainwater collection, solar power, and more.

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rainwater collection

Rainwater: The Healthiest Choice for Your Family


Rainwater harvesting and collection systems are good for your family in so many ways. Learn why rainwater is a better, healthier choice when it comes to your water usage—for you and your family, for the environment, and for your budget.

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Fiberglass insulation, batting

Big Bad Batting: The Problem With Fiberglass Insulation


What’s inside over 90 percent of American homes, looks like cotton candy, and can kill you over time if not properly installed? Fiberglass insulation is the cheapest thing on the market, but introduces an array of problems.

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There’s Nothing New About Sustainability

Green is a Trend, Sustainability is a Mindset


While “green” is good, ultimately it is sustainability that matters. Something that is “green” may, in fact, not be sustainable. Cut through the clutter of green-washed philosophies and products out there vying for your attention and for your money.

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Farmhouse

5 Reasons Why Building Design is Crucial


Building design encompasses a holistic approach, from the spacing of studs to the spacing of shrubs. A well-built, quality house will save money in the long run through reduced maintenance and time costs. The home becomes an expression of individuality and a celebration of living.

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Green home builder

Good & Bad Flooring Materials


Floor coverings have been cited as sources of contaminants as well as a significant burden on the health of the environment. Learn about good, sustainable flooring materials such as wood, bamboo, and concrete—as well as bad floor coverings that should be avoided.

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Battery Storage Systems Federal Tax Incentives

The information below was provided by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). Download the pdf here: National Renewable Energy Laboratory PDF Federal Tax Incentives for Battery Storage Systems…

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10 Years of NATiVE

by Lloyd Lee In March 2007, Nick Ryza and I were sitting in a pub in Dublin, Ireland talking about what we wanted to do with the next chapter of our professional lives. We were there on a…

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Why October is the Best Time to Buy Solar

Traditionally, most people think about installing a solar panels in the summer after opening up that first electric bill when the air conditioner has been running nonstop. And while this…

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Solar is Winning

Energy has been a hot topic of debate for many decades in the United States. From our founding, we have powered our lives with wood, coal, petroleum, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear,…

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Georgetown Renewable Energy Plan

Georgetown Renewable Energy Plan The following are edited excerpts from the Eco-Capitalist Podcast. Steven Rosenberg: My name is Steven Rosenberg and welcome to The Eco-Capitalist.…

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Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer

NATiVE has been a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer since 2016, which means we offer a customized solar-plus-battery solution that enables you to access the free, abundant power of the…

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Smart Building Choice for Fire Endurance

Insulated Concrete Blocks – The Smart Building Choice One of the most devastating forces of nature is fire, whether it’s a naturally occurring wildfire or otherwise. Fires can…

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Earth Day is Everyday

Earth Day is April 22nd. It is a day to not only celebrate mother nature, it is a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes. At NATiVE, Earth Day is Everyday.…

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Building a Solar Ready Home

When building a new home, you have the opportunity to build it right from the beginning, saving yourself thousands of dollars in utility bills over the decades (as well as offsetting the…

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Solar Tax Credit – Filing Your 2016 Taxes with the ITC

*Disclaimer: NATiVE is not a tax expert. This blog is just the basic info on the Solar Tax Credit  (ITC – investment tax credit). Please consult with your tax professional. It’s…

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The Future and Solar

NATiVE was proud to speak with the next generation of solar supporters at two events in Central Texas in February. NATiVE’s CEO Lloyd Lee spoke to his daughter’s 2nd grade class at Dripping Springs…

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Climate Change in Austin

Austin’s status as a leading city has been proven time and time again with inclusion at the top of many “Best Of” lists. But today marks a special milestone for Austin’s leadership status…

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Thirsty Planet Going Build NATiVE

Local Brewing Company Thirsty Planet Expands Commitment to the Earth ABOUT Thirsty Planet Brewing, Co. (thirstyplanet.net) has been brewing beer in Austin since 2010. They are inspired by…

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Epps Body & Paint Powers Shop with Solar

Wayne Epps founded Epps Body & Paint in 1988 and grew it into a well-respected Bee Caves business. In 2011, Wayne asked Steve and Melissa Takamatsu to continue his tradition of fine…

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Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse Goes Solar

Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse (www.vickerygreenhouse.com) began in 1926 as Vickery Florist in Vickery, Texas, the area surrounding the intersection of Greenville and Park Lane in Dallas.…

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Resolutions & Reforestation

As we approach the new year, many of us make resolutions to improve our lives from the previous year. 2017 comes with a lot of…

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Nutritional Supplements Manufacturer Powers Facilities with Solar

Premier Research Labs (PRL) [www.prlabs.com], located in Austin, has been developing and distributing nutritional supplements worldwide for over 25 years. They are well known for…

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Texas Bank Shades Parking Lot with Solar Carport

In 2015, Gary Cox, President of Texas State Bank in San Angelo, was interested in providing customers shaded parking from the brutal West Texas summer sun. Gary became inspired to add a…

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Should I Install Batteries with My Solar?

Since last spring when Elon Musk publicly pre-announced the market arrival of the Tesla Powerwall, the battery question is one of the most frequent questions that we have been fielding…

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Texas School Cedars International Academy Goes Solar

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that…

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Powering a Birthing Center in Haiti with Solar

by David Dixon (NATiVE Business Management) Entrance to MamaBaby Haiti clinic in Vaudreuil Haiti. It is a country that I knew little about. I was aware that it is a poor nation, in fact,…

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Cool House Tour 2016

Sunday, June 12th, 10am – 6pm The 20th Annual Cool House Tour, a collaboration of Austin Energy Green Building (AEGB) and the Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES) is this Sunday! This…

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Compost Pedallers – Profile

NATiVE is proud to partner with Austin’s 100% bike-powered compost recycling company: Compost Pedallers. Compost Pedallers collect compostables from homes and businesses and pedals them…

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Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Director Goes Solar

As a proud partner of Sierra Club (http://sierraclub.org/texas), the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, we were very excited to work with…

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Tax Season is Better with Solar

Tax season is now over, which means for our NATiVE solar customers, their systems paid back even more than their monthly energy bill savings! Let us take you through the numbers of what a…

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Green Building Progress – April 2016

NATiVE Green Building Progress – “Works in Progress April 2016” Welcome to the first release of our Monthly Work In Progress Photo blog where we visually reveal our…

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CleanTX

NATiVE is a Proud Member of CleanTX CleanTX is an economic development and professional association that is accelerating the growth of the cleantech industry in Texas through information…

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Water Conservation

NATiVE Rainwater Collection & Water Conservation There are two fundamental resources that we use in our homes: energy and water. We understand that installing a low-flow faucet saves…

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Give 5% to Mother Earth Day

Mother Earth Day – April 22nd This month, NATiVE is excited to be a partner of Austin’s Give 5% to Mother Earth Day, the annual Earth Day initiative where more than 100 local…

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Conserving Land in the Hill Country

“Conserving land in the Hill Country is not a simple feat – it requires long-term involvement from many individuals and organizations who want to see these lands preserved as open space…

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CPS Energy Extends Solar Rebate Program

Native is excited to have been involved closely with CPS Energy (https://www.cpsenergy.com/) and the San Antonio Solar Alliance in helping to craft a sustainable solar rebate program that…

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Green Energy Money

Financial Solutions to Value & Power a Sustainable Green Energy Future When you are looking at building a custom high performance, green energy home the loan process is different than…

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2016 Solar Trends and New Opportunities

An Amicus Collaborative Article With the close of 2015 and the unexpected extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit, US Solar companies can now look toward 2016 with a stable…

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Leif Dove – NATiVE Employee Highlight

“There is a commonly referenced constraints triangle in construction project management that shows time, cost, and quality on its outer corners. The often repeated phrase is to pick two…

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Green Builder Magazine – Home of the Year Awards Winner

Best Resilient Design Native was honored as one of nine finalists in Green Builder Magazine 2015 Home of the Year Awards. Our Rainwater Ranch project won the BEST Resilient Design award.…

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Tecolote Farm Goes Solar

Only a few miles down the road from the 30MW Webberville Solar Farm that energizes Austin, there is another groundbreaking solar farm, and this one produces clean energy as well as…

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Project Sunroof

In an attempt to map the world’s solar potential, one roof at a time, Google has launched Project Sunroof: https://www.google.com/get/sunroof#p=0. This new online service quickly tallies…

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Zero Energy Home

It’s been a little over a year since we first met UT literature professors Liz and Alan. They had spent over 30 years living in the same house without doing much to it. The house was…

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Small Businesses Benefit from Financing Solar Projects

Amicus, a cooperative of the finest independent solar companies across the United States, share experiences on various solar topics with each other each month. For December, Amicus…

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A Few of Our Favorite “Green” Things

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s wishing you, your family and friends the warmest of holidays and of course delicious food. Just in case the you need a legitimate excuse to get out of an…

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Spray Foam Insulation

When building an energy efficient, net-zero home in Texas, it is vital to eliminate or greatly reduce energy loss with a high performance thermal envelope. Spray foam insulation, an…

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Drive on Sunshine

Austin is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 electric vehicle (EV) friendly cities in America. Many of our home clients have EVs, and at Native, we are now installing EV circuits…

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Solar Powered Farm – Milagro

Milagro Farm Goes Solar by Amy Olsen At 5:00 every morning we stumble out of bed, grab our headlamps and start our days. Kris heads out to the pasture to feed our chickens, we’ve lost…

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Intel Environmental Responsibility & Sustainability Winner

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards NEWS RELEASE AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 27, 2015 — NATiVE is pleased to announce that it received an award of excellence…

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Rainwater Ranch: 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…

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Green Energy Money – Teresa Lopez

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…

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7 Reasons to Not Go Solar

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…

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Interview with Texas Solar Energy Society’s Lucy Stolzenburg

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…

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San Antonio Solar Power

San Antonio Solar Program – The CPS Solar Rebate is Ending If you are a customer of CPS Energy, the opportunity to own your own solar system at the lowest possible cost to you is…

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Celebrate Energy Freedom

It’s that time of year again to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. To thankfully remind us of our freedom every year, we have our most beloved summer holiday, the…

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Why Cheapest Isn’t Always Best

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett The Native Difference: Warranty & Pricing When looking for a quote for your next home improvement project,…

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Tesla Batteries – Should I Pre-Order Them Now?

In grand fashion this week, Elon Musk delivered a well publicized announcement about Tesla’s newest offering, a sleek home battery storage model dubbed the Powerwall. The Powerwall is a…

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Best Energy Smart Home of the Year 2015

NATiVE-built home wins Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s 2015 Award Best Energy Smart Home Honoring the best in meaningful architecture and leading-edge design, Fine Homebuilding magazine’s…

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Announcing Partnership with 1Sun Solutions

1Sun Solutions AUSTIN, TEXAS – April 10, 2015 – NATiVE, a leader in green building and solar contracting, has finalized a formal partnership with 1Sun Solutions. 1Sun…

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Why Go Solar Now?

As we head into another scorching summer in Texas, the temptation to go solar is only natural. Look outside: Our roofs are drenched in untapped energy reserves. But with solar prices…

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Women in Solar Energy

#NationWISE (Women in Solar Energy) Join the #NationWISE Multi-City Round Table Women in Solar Energy (WISE) is hosting a nationwide roundtable on Tuesday, 2/24. Be part of the movement…

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Energy Monitoring

“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it” – Lord Kelvin We are in the midst of a mindshift of the energy consumer. Consumers are becoming keenly aware of not only the…

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American Dream 2.0

If You’ve Ever Considered Solar, You Must Read This Declare Your Independence and Take Ownership of Your Energy The origins of the American Dream date back to the frontier days when…

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New Year’s Resolutions

2015 New Years Resolutions – Think Way Past 2015 As the new year approaches, nearly half of Americans make New Years Resolutions. Most of these resolutions have to do with making…

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Cold Weather Energy Efficiency

Button Up Your Home for Winter Savings…’Cause Baby, It’s Cold Outside Cold Weather Energy Efficiency Winter is an interesting season in Texas, some days it can be a…

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Building a Net Zero House…Part Two

“It is amazing to see the lot without the house, quite weird, really. Are we brave or crazy? People are asking. We say brave.” – Liz We say brave too. Not everyone would decide to…

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Building a Team

“Building a house is easy. Building a team that will build them for many years to come is the hard part and something that I’m proud to say we’ve accomplished.” Reflecting…

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The Early Bird Gets the Tax Credit

As a green builder, we created our business around the idea that it’s never too early to think about the future. It’s practically in our genetic makeup, and everyday, we educate…

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Build Your Home With Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF)

Light frame construction using standardized dimensional lumber has been a ubiquitous feature of the American landscape for nearly two centuries, primarily for its economy. “Stick”…

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Going Net Zero

August 27, 2014 We arrived at Liz and Alan’s Tarrytown (a small Austin community located west of downtown) home early in the morning. The air was humid and the sun was already beginning…

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Green Jobs for Innovative People

At NATiVE, we are very proud of our employees, a group of the smartest, most innovative people in the solar and green building industries. We have the most experienced NABCEP (North…

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Solar Professional Profile: Stuart Priour

NATiVE’s very own Stuart Priour, expert of all things solar, is the coolest solar professional around! Not only does NATiVE do amazing work building net zero homes and installing…

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Rainwater Collection…Every Drop Counts

old Texas rainwater cistern When you live in a sun-scorched state like Texas, every drop of water counts. Luckily, we have had a few rain showers recently to soak the ground before the…

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Elements of a Net Zero Home in Texas

As we cross Labor Day weekend off our calendars, we now turn our attention to what the fall season brings. At NATiVE, we see September as the right time to join in the back-to-school…

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Go Solar to Save…Water?

We’re here. The dog days of summer. The mercury seems to enjoy sitting at 100 degrees! Actually, we’ve had a relatively cool summer and it hasn’t been nearly as brutal as summers in the…

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The High Cost of Low Efficiency

Comprised of semi-arid and subtropical regions, Texas is home to more weather extremes than any other state. In fact, it’s a downright point of pride for many residents, especially during…

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Up Close with Miki Cook

“But, really, the security against rising energy costs should be something that everyone is concerned with. Housing affordability has as much to do with operational and maintenance…

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Declare Your Energy Independence

This great country of ours was founded on the fundamental principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To thankfully remind us of our freedom every year, we have our most…

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Yes, You Can Get Solar

In the solar industry you hear the phrase a lot, “solar is too expensive.” Well, have you thought about how expensive it is to NOT get solar? First, consider the rate of rising…

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Cool House Tour 2014

Cool House Tour 2014 Native is proud to announce that one of our finest net zero homes, Trail Driver, is featured in this year’s 18th Annual Cool House Tour 2014. Cool House Tour is…

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How Green is That Work Truck in the Window?

Biodiesel As we raise our collective awareness of sustainability, there is a question that is increasing in relevance for savvy consumers today, “How green are the products I use in my…

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Smart Money: Shedding Light on Solar Tax Credits

With the close of yet another tax season, some of us may have felt the financial pinch more than others, but we need not always run for the hills every time Tax Day rears its head. If you…

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Energy Efficiency is No Spring Fling

Spring has most certainly sprung here in Texas. It’s that time of year when all the bluebonnets and wildflowers start coming to life. It is also the time of year when folks all over the…

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Keepin’ it in the Family

Well, it’s that time again. It is time when people start thinking of putting solar on their homes. In the past 7 years Native has installed over 300 systems, totaling more than 300…

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Power to the People… Literally

A few months back Native was approached by a group called MamaBaby in Haiti. They were in need of our help and we are excited to share the progress of this project with our Native…

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Keepin’ Track: Energy Monitoring for Your Home

Energy conservation is a term that is used a lot in our society yet so few people actually know what their behaviors look like in the terms of energy consumption. Energy monitoring gives…

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Why Rent When You Could Own?

Most people consider owning a home as a big step in the right direction in terms of financial investment and security, yet we don’t think twice about renting the resources it takes…

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Rainwater: The Healthiest Choice for Your Family

With concerns over the quality of municipal water supplies rising and a greater understanding of the ecological costs of depleting natural ground and surface water sources, rainwater…

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Future of Solar Power in Texas

The future of solar power in Texas over the next couple of decades is projected to shine bright. Given its location, Texas is as well-suited as any state in the country to harness the…

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Build Local

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…

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Solar Under Attack in Texas

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…

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Construction & Demolition: The Forgotten Bookends of a Green Home’s Life

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,…

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Hill Country Conservancy and Partnerships

Local Green Homebuilder ‘Native’ Makes Commitment to Support Hill Country Conservancy AUSTIN, TX — In an effort to make a commitment to a “green” community,…

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Our Third Skin: The Building Envelope

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,…

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The Single Most Important Green-Builder Qualification: Experience

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…

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Luxury Green Home

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…

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Sustainability is Added Value, Not Just a ‘Luxury’

In the grand scheme of architectural design and land development, the quest for cutting-edge sustainability in a pretty package is a relatively new phenomena. For all its youthful…

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Big Bad Batting: The Problem With Fiberglass Insulation

What is inside over 90 percent of American homes, looks like cotton candy, and can kill you over time if not properly installed? The New Asbestos Asbestos. For many people in and out of…

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Water: Your Home’s Worst Enemy

Water. This simple molecule composed of two hydrogen atoms affixed atop a single oxygen atom forms the very basis of life as we know it. In fact, all known life forms depend on it.…

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Solar Panels: The Perfect Plan

Solar panels are like having a diligent friend on your roof, come rain or come shine, tirelessly collecting dollars and cents at no cost to the environment. Below are eight ways solar can…

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Got Sun? Then Use It.

Got sun? Then install some solar panels and take advantage of immediate, clean, and cheap energy. As prices continue to drop and clean technologies continue to flourish, 2013 could very…

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A Green Home Sells For More

Many experts suspect that the red-hot housing market of 2006-2007 that created so much ultimately unsustainable wealth for many may never return to pre-recession heights. As Americans…

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Energy Efficient Framing: Building Green Homes With Wood

When it comes to energy-efficient home design, most people envision the sort of rockstar technologies that have captured the public imagination in recent decades: photovoltaics, wind…

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Portraits of the Green Home Owner

Green homes represent the cutting edge of residential green technology and lifestyle, and a growing segment of the housing market. There are many reasons for building a green home, some…

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Making Sustainability Standard

Luxury homes can be logical candidates for the implementation of eco-friendly renewable technologies. Luxury and sustainability, while often referenced independently, are absolutely…

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Why Solar Panels Make Utilities Nervous

Solar energy, indeed almost all renewable energy sources with the exception of hydroelectric, constitute but a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to the share of electrical energy…

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Putting a Ceiling on Energy Bills

How to put a cap on your monthly energy bills by putting some work into your roof. People talk about putting a floor beneath their feet or having a financial safety net, but as far as the…

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Sustainability Streamlines Your Life

How investing in a little sustainable efficiency can simplify and streamline your life, and help you accrue crucial financial savings over time. Americans worry a lot. We worry about our…

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An Expiration Date For Our Current Energy Policy Model?

Most people understand the basics of supply and demand. The more people that want something, in this case energy, the more it will cost. Likewise, the less of it there is, the more it…

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Solar Energy Market Role Reversal

Solar Energy Market While the United States ramps up oil and gas extraction and production, aiming to be a net exporter of fossil fuels by 2030, the oil-soaked sheikhdom of Saudi Arabia,…

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There Goes The Neighborhood

As the nation’s oil sector heats up, thanks to innovations in extraction technology and a glut of domestic oil, flaws in an inherently destructive industry will continue to sow…

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World Hunger Relief Harvests Solar Power with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club

Solar array donation helps Waco farm grow more sustainably Waco, TX – Non-profit farmland and sustainable agriculture training organization, World Hunger Relief…

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Why Texans Should Get Excited About Solar Energy

Why citizens of the Lone Star State, despite a long and prosperous marriage to Big Oil, ought to learn to love solar energy. The BIG State Should Get Excited About Solar Energy Texans…

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Netting Some Zeros: Net-zero

How investing in a net-zero home could effectively eliminate those pesky energy bills. There are only a few places we really care to see some zeros – the first, on our paycheck after a…

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Seeing Green in the Future of Energy

What our energy past and present can tell us about our energy future, and the role renewables will have to play in that future. Here’s a hint: a big one. The Story Thus Far It began with…

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Climate Change: A Collective Failure of Human Empathy?

Why the discussion of global warming needs to add an expanded moral dimension that can help inform economic and political change. The Million Dollar Question: Why Don’t People Care About…

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The Big Wind Blows

Weather conditions in the wind industry. A Windy Industry For a while, it seemed like the wind industry might not make it as it battled strong headwinds from Congress and from abroad.…

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A Green House is a House that Gives Back

How investing in a ‘green’ or net-zero home can be one of the best investments you can make when it comes to buying or building a new house. One of the prevailing trains of thought…

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$30,000 donated to World Hunger Relief for solar array installation

Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM Helps Waco Farm Promote Sustainable Agriculture Around the World – World Hunger Relief $30,000 donated to World Hunger Relief for solar array…

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Get Ready For Energy Star Tax Holiday (May 25th-27th)

On Memorial Day Weekend, Texans can save even more money on Energy Star-rated green equipment and appliances with a tax-free weekend at the end of May. Savings On Top of Savings Green, in…

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Smart Grids, Smart Cars, Smart Meters, Smart…Windows?

There are many innovations being produced by the cleantech sector every day – windows are one of them! Technology and sustainability are inherently synergistic. Let the New Green Economy…

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Is Solar Technology at the End of the Line? Or Just the Beginning?

The decline of U.S. solar manufacturing in the past few years has all but scuttled dreams of a new Solar Valley that could create good domestic jobs and bring the same kind of innovation…

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Cutting Down To Size

The best strategy for sustainability isn’t better renewable energy or a miracle technology. The best strategy for sustainability is to simply curb consumption. The challenge lies in…

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Sheltering New Solar at Texas Humane Heroes with Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™

Solar array dedication event at Texas Humane Heroes Panels installed with $50,000 donation from Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™ Sheltering New Solar at Texas Humane Heroes with Green…

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Green is a Trend, Sustainability is a Mindset

While “green” is good, ultimately it is sustainability that matters. Something that is “green” may in fact NOT be sustainable. The difference between something that is “green” versus…

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New Solar Breakthrough Has Wall Street Excited

This is one in a series of Green Tech updates to keep you informed of the many new innovations being produced by the cleantech sector every day. After all, technology and sustainability…

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Urban Green Condo Living

When it comes to green living, it’s all about location. Urban condos designed with sustainability in mind check all the right planet-friendly boxes and with one huge upside: location. The…

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Greening Historic Homes

America is a relatively young nation with a relatively young housing stock. Still, over 20 million houses in use today were built before the 1940’s. Because of their advanced age, many of…

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A Little ‘Fluff’ Goes A Long Way: Weatherize

When it comes to greening a house, especially older homes, nothing is more cost-effective than investing in a little extra ‘fluff’ inside the walls and in the attic. Prioritize.…

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Building a Green Home: Specialty Builder vs. National Builder

When it comes to buying or building a new, eco-friendly home, most home buyers have two choices: either buy from a national chain builder, or employ the services of a local builder that…

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The Fracking Problem

Proponents of the oil and natural gas industry point to new developments in extraction technology, namely “fracking”, as the solution to America’s energy woes. While natural gas may be…

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The 3 Types of Solar

Solar photovoltaic panels get all the press, with good reason too. They’re shiny. They look the part of a renewable energy technology of the future. That’s great, but people tend to get a…

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Green Roofs (Minus the Greenery)

A short brief on popular sustainable roofing techniques that do not involve grass: Green Roofs When most people encounter the term green roof, they picture rich, lush grasses carpeting…

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Sandy Shatters Silence

If Hurricane Sandy could speak, what would she have said? What has she told us about America’s badly aging infrastructure? Our emergency preparedness? Our effect on climate and climate…

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Sierra Club Joins Us to Help Families Go Solar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 21, 2013 Media Contacts: Cyrus Reed, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter Lloyd Lee, Native   Sierra Club Partners with Native to Help Families Go Solar Partnership Helps…

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Super Bowl: Lights, Camera, …Nothing?

The widely-speculated power outage in this year’s Super Bowl XLVII may just be a sign of things to come. Granted, the game in Mercedes-Benz Superdome was an extraordinary event demanding…

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Selected for solar array installation by Green Mountain Energy™ Sun Club™

January 29, 2013 Texas Humane Heroes Awarded First Solar Array Installation Thanks to Donation from Green Mountain EnergyTM Sun ClubTM $50,000 donation from Sun Club provides renewable…

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Do You Know About Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM’s)?

The world of energy efficiency is often fraught with gray areas. Systems and technologies that may work well for one home, in one climatic region, for one particular family, may not be…

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Chilly? Put Some Clothing On. . . Your Home – Building Clothing

Investing in insulation and other energy conservation methods could save homeowners money and make this winter a little more toasty. When it is cold out, you put on a jacket. The jacket…

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Retrofit Nation

The expansion of state and local building codes addressing energy efficiency, combined with the success of the LEED ratings system, shows that policymakers as well as homebuyers are…

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Power to People: Part 1

The development of cellular phones, digital control systems and information communication networks can provide a road-map for a more flexible, resilient and democratic energy…

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Green Milestones of 2012

2012 was a significant year for the green sector. And while the spectre of Solyndra from the previous year still cast shadows on the industry, all in all, the industry experienced solid…

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Thinking Outside the Box

From desegregation to the rise of the Internet, much has changed in the past 100 years. But our homes haven’t. Why old-fashioned thinking in regards to how we occupy spaces is bad for our…

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5 Ways the American House Will Change For the Better

From the rise of the sustainable building movement and LEED, to developments in the renewable energy sector, the world we live in could see a huge positive impact thanks to the houses we…

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Rainwater: Harvesting the Clouds

Why Rainwater is Worth Collecting “Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day!” is a common rhyme children like to chant when their prospective field-trips look to be ruined by a little…

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5 Reasons Why Building Design is Crucial

“Building design” does not refer to the multitude of stylistic clichés, such as “colonial” or “ranch”, which are ubiquitous today. It certainly does not refer to any decorative elements…

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Energy Democracy

The development of smart grids, distributed solar energy, time-of-day pricing, and functional electric vehicles offer a vision of a less centralized energy system tied to the one-fuel…

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Gridlock – Part 2

A major component of our energy woes today is the grid itself. A solution could be distributed, onsite generation with renewables. Beginnings of the Behemoth Centralized power generation…

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Gridlock – Part 1

A major component of our energy woes today is gridlock — and the grid itself. Traditional coal-fired power plants are dinosaurs, figuratively and literally. These hulking…

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Urgent Lessons From Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is but the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg. As climate change continues to wreak havoc on the nation, from record-breaking heat waves and droughts in the American…

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More Than Just Global Warming: Harsh Realities

Everything we are as a society, from the health of the economy to the car-based suburban lifestyles we lead (and even the food we eat), is predicated on the availability of affordable…

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High Electricity Bills Strike Again and Again

How net-zero can help homeowners break away from a cycle of ever-increasing energy costs. The Dallas Morning News, as well as other news agencies across the state, have recently reported…

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5 Developments in Renewables That Are Changing the World’s Energy Landscape

From changes in perception to new technologies, five ways the renewable industry continues to be the best bet for the future. Renewable energy consistently gets a bad rap from cynics as a…

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10 Uncommon Ways to Heat Your Home in Texas

(Without destroying the planet in the process!) Let’s be completely honest here; winter in Texas is mild. Besides a discernible dip in temperatures during the months of January and…

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Providing NRG SolarLife with sales, design, and installation

Pedernales Electric Cooperative announces that it will co-op with NRG SolarLife to provide it’s members pilot programs that include additional solar resources and solar lease…

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Green Building Design 101 – Natural Daylighting

The first thing any architect or builder should tell you is that we need to work with nature, not against it. This is the key mindset of sustainability. Every building site contains…

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Good & Bad Flooring Materials

A Rundown of Sustainable Flooring Materials Floor coverings have been cited as both primary and secondary sources of contaminants as well as a significant burden on the health of the…

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Luxurious Sustainability?

Why sustainability can be a luxury as well as a necessity – plus, three ways to live with Luxurious Sustainability Most people associate sustainability with sacrifice. You must sacrifice…

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Redefining “Sustainability”: Re-Empowering the Term Sustainable

“Sustainability” as a term is not as powerful as it used to be. It has been incorporated, some would argue co-opted, to such a degree that the very idea of “sustainability” can now refer…

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Smart Green – “Intelligent Efficiency” Offers New Source of Energy

While politicians, pundits, and activists yammer on about the future of our energy security and what it means for the environment, green technologies and practices continue to play a…

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Green Upgrades in a Tough Economy

In tough economic times, and even when times are rolling, many homeowners simply cannot justify the installation of solar panels on their rooftops or the drilling required for geothermal…

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Mostly Sunny Forecasts for Solar Power

Despite the slow economy, 2012 is looking like a good year to invest in solar tech: Sunny Forecasts for Solar Power. Solar panels are the key technology to a sustainable energy future…

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Hill Country Ecobuilders + Hill Country Ecopower = NATiVE

The following article was published by the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association on Friday, August 3, 2012. This summer, well established Texas eco-builder,  Hill Country Ecobuilders and…

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Deep Green In The Heart of Texas

A rusted pumpjack oil rig, its equestrian head nodding tirelessly, sits silhouetted against the burnt-orange western sun. This could be no other place than the American Southwest, in…

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Defining Net-Zero

When it comes to residential housing, the process of selecting just the right house that fulfills your needs at an affordable price, can be quite difficult. Sustainable housing options…

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The Whole Package – Green Home Materials

Sometimes finding that perfect house seems a lot like finding the perfect partner – nigh impossible. A house has to have character. It needs to be located in just the right intersection…

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Cool House, Cool Down

All the signs are extant that another Texas summer has arrived – the beads of sweat mustering on my forehead, the AC in my car turned up to 11, and of course, frightfully high energy…

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The Solar Alternative to Solar Panels: Solar Thermal Heating

Solar photovoltaic panels are the relatively young rock stars of the green technological movement. When most people think green, they picture rows and rows of sparkling silicone…

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The Incredible Green Net-Zero Home

Astounding! Watch as your electric bills vanish before your very eyes! Your incredible green net-zero home will save you bundles of money! Average Americans looking to buy or build an…

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The Value of Quality Windows

Windows are the eyes peering into the soul of your home. They protect us from inclement weather, allow us to connect with the outdoors and, most importantly, let the light in. However,…

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The Power of Dirt – Geothermal Heat Pumps

Humans have been utilizing the thermal qualities of dirt since our very beginnings. Paleolithic cavemen were, obviously, known for living in caves because they were simply the best places…

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5 Reasons Why Building Design is Crucial

“Building design” does not refer to the multitude of stylistic clichés, such as “colonial” or “ranch”, which are ubiquitous today. It certainly does not refer to any decorative elements…

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Turf War

There is something about the ubiquitous suburban lawn in a place like Texas (or much of America west of the Mississippi for that matter) that is unequivocally silly. Depending on…

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5 Easy, Affordable Ways to Green Your Home

Most of us would prefer to live an eco-friendly lifestyle if we could. We love the outdoors and want to preserve America’s famed wild beauty. We love our children, and we want them to…

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Green Homeowners for Green Homes

“Sustainability” has, perhaps, become the biggest movement in the field of architecture and construction – transcending mere trend status. Today, increasingly affordable green…

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The 5 Ingredients of Net-Zero Homes

A full understanding of net-zero housing implies a recognition that the homebuyer is paying for a comprehensive and complete building up-front. This includes all the energy and utility…

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The Windfall of Wind: Passive Air Circulation

Natural ventilation has become an increasingly attractive technique for reducing energy use, and thereby cost, while still maintaining a healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor…

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4 Myths about Net-Zero Homes

For the most part, net-zero homes continue to occupy a niche market in the building industry. Most potential home buyers have an understandable fear of investing in sustainable housing…

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Timeless Green: Reclaiming the Past

More than 150 million Americans, live in suburbs – that’s half of all Americans. While the rest of the world appears to be in a mad rush to urbanize – poverty, overcrowding, and…

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Green Building Design 101

The first thing any architect or builder worth his own salt will tell you is that we need to work with nature, not against it. This is the key mindset of sustainability. Every building…

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There’s Nothing New About Sustainability

In a way, the word “Sustainability” has become just another over-used buzzword, a casualty of our free market’s endless drive to find and appropriate progressive terms for short-term…

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The American Drain

Most American single-family homes can be summed up in one word: flimsy. The exterior styling is mass-produced. The walls are hollow, and the floors are linoleum. The electric and heating…

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