Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Energy Efficient Mortgages

While I don't consider this to be "eye candy"...

I do think there's benefit in a brief overview of Energy Efficient Mortgages/Green Mortgages (for the purchase of a new home or the refinance and energy improvement of an existing one).

Excerpts below from:

So, what kinds of things does an EEM pay for?

An EEM can pay for improvements like new dual pane windows, a new HVAC unit with air ducts, insulation, weatherizing, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, fixing or replacing a chimney, installing active and passive solar technologies, and other upgrades.

Who offers them?

EEMs are offered by most mortgage lenders through federally insured mortgage programs like FHA and VA as well as secondary mortgage market lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, and VA EEMs. All of them offer slightly different plans and you should talk to a few lenders.

How do you get an EEM?

To get an EEM, you first have to find out what improvements your home needs. And, though you may have had your eye on a new central air unit and other upgrades that you think you need, you have to follow the official suggestions. These suggestions come in the form of a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report. A trained Energy Rater will take into account factors like insulation, windows, heating and cooling systems, and local climate to give the home an overall rating. You can work with your lender to find a licensed Energy Rater.

A HERS report includes:

· An overall rating for the house as it is.

· Recommendations for cost-effective energy upgrades.

· Cost estimates of the price, savings, and life of energy saving upgrades.

· An estimate of the house’s rating after the upgrades.

· Before and after estimates of annual energy costs for the home.

A HERS rating costs somewhere between $300 and $800 and you can finance it as part of the loan if it isn’t paid for by the buyer, seller, lender, or real estate agent.

Once I have my HERS, how does it all work?

Once you have your HERS inspection, you can figure out how much money you qualify for and what upgrades you want to spend the money on. Once the actual EEM has been worked out with the lender and the loan closes, the lender puts the money into an escrow account. The mortgage owner then has between 90 and 180 days (depending on who provides the EEM) to hire professionals to make the improvements. You can do some of the improvements yourself to save money (but you cannot pay yourself to make the renovations). The money is then paid out to the borrower once an inspection takes place to verify that the proposed improvements have been made and the energy savings are real.

I also highly recommended checking with your local utility company (mine is Kansas City Power and Light ), as well as, rebates available through the Energy Star Program .



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shunichiro Ninomiya + Tomoko Modrome NRM* Architects Office

another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure..

Friday, December 24, 2010


another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure...
MERRY CHRISTMAS from eye candy...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Black + White Studio Architects

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Atelier Waechter



Awards: AIA Portland 2010 Merit Award

Completion Date: August 15th, 2010

Project Type: Residential Renovation

Square Footage: 1400

Owner: Lola Oyibo & Eric Boardman

Address: 3965 N Gantenbein Ave., Portland, OR

Architect: Atelier Waechter, Portland, OR

Builder: Prutting and Co.

Structural Engineer: Munzing Structural Engineering

Photographer: Sally Schoolmaster

The task of this project was to transform an existing 1947 single story Cape Cod style house into a compact and functional 1,400 sq.ft. modern dwelling. Each level of the new house has a distinct character to meet the needs of the new inhabitants.

FIRST FLOOR: The first floor living space is now one open room with living, dining and kitchen areas. Offset from the center of this room is a wooden box that contains “servant” spaces (stairs, powder room and storage). To go upstairs one literally steps into this wooden box creating a dramatic threshold between the main living space and the more private bedroom area above.

SECOND FLOOR: The original Cape Cod roof was removed and a second floor was added for bedrooms. In stark contrast to the first floor, the spatial order is comprised of 4 rooms organized around the central stair. The mood is quiet and calm through the scale of the rooms and the soft texture of the carpeting.

ROOF TERRACE: The open floor plan of the first floor reappears at the rooftop terrace. The diagram, once again, is a single room with a box “floating” off center. This time, however, the room perimeter consists of parapet walls which afford sweeping views of the neighborhood and distant mountains.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

de leon- & primmer architecture workshop

another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure...

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Neubau Haus Optiker

fotos: Black and White -Marco Homberger; Color -

Ms. Francesca Giovanelli Birr and Roger Frei

Monday, December 06, 2010


another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure...

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure...

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Wednesday, December 01, 2010


another quality web candy - for your surfing pleasure...