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New Sage Homes Blog

Welcome to New Sage Homes Blog.

Doug Kirk and Robb Galloway of New Sage Homes while having 60+ years of building and designing experience behind them, have just recently added to their already existing and acclaimed Solargon with 2 more super insulated building packages: the Backyard Diamond and the Backyard Quadra.

Like the Solargon these are made with cam-locking (that’s right…no nails) sips panels. They go up fast and are perfect as an extra room for guests, a home office or studio and fit in most backyards. Man-cave? Absolutely!

There is also the Quadra 28 Aspen which is a larger version of the Backyard Quadra. This is a perfect choice for an off the grid home that can utilize alternative energy effectively because of its low energy design.

All that New Sage Homes produces now and in the future have one common theme and that is they represent the best in eco-friendly building concepts and energy efficient designs and materials.The beauty of that is that it benefits everyone, while offering a more sustainable, affordable future.





Pros And Cons Of Choosing A Green Energy Provider

Using the sun, wind or water to generate energy produces fantastic results for the environment and can really reduce the cost of operating a home. If you are a heavy energy user due to the amount of technology used within the home, then these tips will show you how you can reduce your costs while continuing to enjoy the gadgets you love.

Solar water heating is a great way to decrease the expense of heating water used for showers and swimming pools. Using natural gas and electricity is certainly the norm, but it’s not very energy efficient. By contrast, solar energy is very efficient, and it keeps water temperatures steady just as well as traditional heating methods. While many of these upgrades have high up-front costs, they may qualify for tax credits or other rebates.

One way to conserve energy is to make sure your windows aren’t exposed to direct sunlight. Closing your blinds and curtains will keep out the sun in summer and keep heat from escaping in winter. When you use these two things in tandem, you will find your heating and cooling bills will plummet. You will save both energy and money.

Instead of turning on the air conditioner, wear fabrics made of natural materials. Cotton and linen wick away moisture from your skin so that you stay cooler. Wear lighter colors, as warmer colors make you feel warmer and more likely to put on artificial cold air.

Solar Panels

You could easily have solar panels in your house to collect energy from the sun for you to use. Before you do this, you should research just a few things first. The major thing you have to consider before going ahead with solar panels is the amount of sunlight your home gets over the course of a day. You can’t take as much advantage of solar energy if your house gets a lot of shade rather than sun.

Save on the use of electricity in your home, and become a better consumer of energy by unplugging your electronic devices and gadgets when they are not in use. Chargers for your electronics, such as an iPod or cell phone, are always using electricity, even when they’re not in use, so unplug them when you can.

Are you a farm owner? If you have a lot of land, energy companies will pay you for the right to set up a wind turbine on it. Everyone surrounding the area where these turbines are installed are sure to benefit, and the installation doesn’t take up that much space.

Wash Clothes

Try to use cold water for washing clothes. Almost all of the energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water. Washing your clothing in cold water will get them just as clean as washing them in hot water if you have a good laundry detergent. Don’t forget to only wash clothes when you have a full load s you are as efficient with your energy as possible!

Be sure to cover your windows with drapes or blinds when not at home. This keeps your house cool and your energy costs down when you’re not there. Typically windows on the southern side of the home receive the most sun. Try adding window coverings that block heat, such as shades or darker, lined curtains.

Think about getting solar heaters to heat up your water at home. If you live in an area where freezing temperatures are not a problem, you can purchase a system that heats water through a heater that is solar before it pumps it in your home. Though you can use this system, it’s best to have a regular water heater for backup purposes, just in case there is a day with little sunlight or more water usage than normal.

When designing your solar PV system, try to locate the battery storage system as close to the PV cells as possible. No power will be lost during the transfer from the cells to the batteries by doing this. It also reduces the chances of the cable shading the cells and reducing their generation capability.

Keep your refrigerator in good condition. Refrigerators take up lots of energy, so making sure they’re in working order is always good to know. Make sure you clean out any dust from around heating coils. Check frequently to ensure that the door seals tightly.

Monitor your electricity consumption watt by watt. Use great gadgets such as the Kill-A-Watt or the Watt Minder to find out which fixtures and appliances use up the most energy. By plugging any device into this gadget, it will tell you how much energy it consumes. This will make you realize what a given appliance costs you over the long run.

Environmentally Friendly

By developing good, environmentally friendly habits, you can start saving money now. As this article shows, going green isn’t all that difficult and costly. Put this excellent advice to use and build a more environmentally friendly and efficient home today.


Cost Effective Passive Solar Design Concepts

A Passive Solar Heating Design

Homes can be designed using a passive solar design or an active solar design. Passive solar should not be confused with active solar design or photovoltaic solar cells. The marriage of passive solar design with zero energy homes makes cost-effective heating and cooling possible. In both types of solar design, solar energy is collected in various places throughout the structure. Once energy-efficient features are in place, the use of passive solar energy becomes more viable. Trapping solar energy is the first step in passive solar heating.

The Most Commonly Isolated-gain Passive Solar Home Design

When all the right design elements are incorporated the result is a home which uses passive solar design to keep your home comfortable without using a lot of energy. There are many ways to design a custom, passive solar, sustainable, green home. Passive solar design, known to the ancients, has been completely abandoned in the past few hundred years when it comes to modern home design and construction. The passive solar thermal building design may look ostentatious but it is actually a home, made comfortable by green energy. To design a completely passive solar home, you need to incorporate what are considered the five elements of passive solar design. You can apply passive solar design techniques most easily when designing a new home.

The Side Of The Home Facing South

The majority of windows are located on the north and south facades with the south side windows  having adequate shade protection. The most frequently used rooms should be placed along the longer, south side of the house, where sunlight can enter through the windows . In temperate Northern zones, buildings are constructed with few windows on the Northern side and large, wide windows on the Southern side. The equator-facing side of a building is south in the northern hemisphere, and north in the southern hemisphere. Houses are constructed, in the northern hemisphere, with their long axis in an East-West direction. There is berming on the north, east, and west sides of the house.

Unwanted Heat Gain And Glaring Direct Sunlight

The direct gain passive solar collector absorbed more heat than most other types of passive solar collectors. In a direct gain space, solar energy penetrates directly into the space where it is stored and used. Direct gain attempts to control the amount of direct solar radiation reaching the living space. The simplest method of transferring the heat from passive solar collectors is through convection. Both increase overall cost, and the latter will reduce the amount of solar gain into the sun space. Direct gain is the simplest and most intuitive of passive solar designs.

Cooler Than The Air Leaving The Top Vent

The hot air rises and cool air is drawn in low through vents or windows in the wall on the shaded side of the house. The top and bottom vents continue to circulate air as long as the air entering the bottom vent is cooler than the air leaving the top vent. As hot air is drawn out, the cooler, moist air from the cool tower is drawn into and through the master bedroom. Natural convection causing rising warm air and falling cooler air can result in an uneven stratification of heat. As warm air moves through the vents, cooler room air is drawn through the lower vents, where it is warmed and rises to repeat the action. The fresh air intake is on the windward side, and the stale air exhaust is on the leeward side.

Thermal Mass Large Enough For Annualized Heat Storage

Active solar heating systems require the use of solar thermal collector to absorb sunlight in order to collect and store heat. When heat is not needed, the excess solar heat in the Trombe wall is absorbed and stored by the high-mass wall. By spreading sunlight out over thermal surfaces, heat is stored for later use. The surface sits in the direct path of the sunlight, which hits the surface and is absorbed as heat. The thermal mass continues to absorb and store heat to radiate back into the room after the sun has gone. The sunlight is converted to heat energy, which heats both the air and thermal mass materials.

Your Solar Collectors Used For Water Heating

Flat plate solar collectors mounted on south elevations can be used to provide solar heated liquid for space and domestic water heating. Now with the rising costs of fossil fuels, solar hot water heating is making a comeback. Flat plate collectors provide heated liquid for domestic hot water and radiant floors. The collectors are placed below the thermal storage, which in turn is placed lower than the space it is to heat. Colder water from the bottom of the storage tank will be drawn into the lower entry of the solar collector to replace the heated water that was therm o-siphoned upward. A heat exchanger in the solar tank is used to provide domestic hot water.

Square Ft. Costs

As a builder I often get asked  “What does a building cost per square foot to build?” Two story homes are typically the most cost-effective. building additional square footage under the same roof and foundation size will save you money. on your project.

Small is Big |Backyard Tiny Houses

 Lowering Costs of Small Buildings

Many tiny houses are used as guest rooms and are located near an existing home with accommodations. This approach saves the costs of adding a bath and kitchen.

Close proximity to the main house can save big when it comes to gaining additional living space for guests without adding a bath and kitchen, plumbing, electrical, foundation costs and permits. 

A small space can have a big feel if a bath and or kitchen is not sharing available square footage.

An unplumbed building not being used on a regular basis does not require constant heating and with a passive solar design and super insulation will heat passively during the day time sun.

The building above is a guest room with a loft and has been used by a student, visiting guests, and occasionally as an art studio.

7 Smart Home Essentials

1) A meal will sustain you for a few hours.

2) A pair of shoes will last months or maybe a year.

3) A car can last a decade but a home should last a lifetime.

4) Americans now spend on average 87% of their time indoors. When planning to build a home one should take into account the overall quality of the environment.

5) Factors that make up the living space should benefit the occupants.

6) Natural lighting, air quality, openness , how living space flows from area to area are all important for body and mind wellness.

7) The time it takes to intelligently plan for your home will have returns for the rest of your stay.


New Sage Homes I Backyard Models


As Featured on Tinyhouseblog


Simple Compact Architecture

Ideal Shape for a Low Energy House

New Sage Homes follows green homes guidelines by building with simple compact architecture. Square compact shapes retains an extraordinary area to volume ratio. It is an almost ideal shape for a low energy house. To check the optimality of a certain house shape we calculate a Area to volume ratio – the rate between house envelope area (A) and house heated volume (V). More energy efficient houses have lower ratios. Interestingly, more thermally efficient building shapes in most cases also mean lower construction expenses, as there is less wall/roof/foundation for the same space.

High Performance Building Envelopes

Simple Compact Architecture at New Sage Homes is combining efficient architecture utilizing high performance building envelopes which in turn results in additional energy costs savings for the life of the home.  Low Energy Home

Super Insulated Building

Insulated building is now a force in the marketplace. Super energy efficient building practices are included in Canadian building codes and are standard practice in many parts of Europe. Changes to the Model Energy Code have been implemented by the US Department of Energy and US Department of Housing and Urban Development in this country. Monetary incentives, such as Energy Rated Mortgage which increase the borrowing power of buyers of energy efficient homes, are in place at banks right now.

Energy Performance Rating System

Programs like the Energy Star Homes Program, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, encourage builders to build low energy homes and provide a rating system to evaluate energy performance.
New Sage Homes consumers who are interested in healthy indoor environments, decreased energy costs, environmental friendly lifestyles, and quality in their homes can insure that high performance building becomes standard practice in the US.