No nightmares here

5149 Byers Avenue is one of the “3-Sisters” on Byers Avenue from Ferrier Custom Homes (photos: Mark Perry)

What gives you nightmares? I’m not referring to the nightmares you had as an 11-year-old from watching The Shining at Jason Gorden’s birthday party in 1985. I’m talking about real nightmares … the ones related to your home!

For many Texan homeowners, a nightmare can be in high energy bills, the cost of replacing a roof after a ghoulish hail storm, or breathing unclean air as it circulates through the home.

With local Fort Worth builder Don Ferrrier, home-related nightmares are replaced by pleasant dreams for happy homeowners.

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solar power

The sunlight falling on an area this size would power the USA.

No, it’s not April Fools’ Day, it’s the future.

When you look at the types of renewable power available – hydro, geothermic, wind, etc. – only one has the potential to completely supply the world’s energy needs — solar power. Did you know that harnessing just 0.02 percent of the solar energy that reaches the Earth would power the world? The map above shows how much surface area is required to power the entire U.S. using solar power.

Like a bad boyfriend, we’ve heard solar’s unmet promises for decades. But unlike that boyfriend, solar has worked to meet those promises. It’s cheaper, thinner, less obtrusive and now, transparent.

As you can imagine, one of the impediments of traditional solar is the space it requires coupled with its typical unattractive industrial appearance. Tesla has created slim-profile solar panels and most recently solar shingles that blend into residential rooftops. These types of rooftop solar collectors have the ability to fulfill a home’s electrical needs.  But what about multi-story residential or commercial?

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This green roof in Germany is a perfect example of how more buildings are becoming sustainable.

Matt Smith
Special Contributor

As in fashion, there are also some popular trends in the roofing industry. Sustainability is one, and in the next year, homeowners across the planet will be building new homes, and each will need a well-constructed, functional, aesthetically correct roof. If the roof is made of eco-friendly material – even better!

Sustainability went from the margins to the mainstream big time during past few years. It is nothing new, yet it is growing more popular. The idea of being energy independent, spending less on electricity, and reducing the level of carbon emission seems like a triple win situation.

You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see that when building roofs, constructors will be inspired by nature in 2018. The emphasis will be on the green building materials and the style which imitates the artwork of one of the world’s top designers – Mother Nature. Solar panels and living green roofs will become a much more common sight.

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UNT Team

Michael Garza, Jacob Flores, Esther Valero, Bobbie M. Daniels, Dawson Guerrettaz, and Juan Lopez will represent the University of North Texas at the Race to Zero competition.

Green building and design is one of the fastest growing segments of today’s homebuilding market as more and more homebuyers looking to avoid the high energy bills summer’s blazing temperatures often bring.

To train and encourage the green building professionals of tomorrow, the U.S. Department of Energy is hosting 40 teams from 34 schools across the United states, Canada, Norway, and China for its Race to Zero Student Design Competition. And with the guidance and encouragement of the Dallas Builders Association, the University of North Texas’ Association of Construction Engineering Technology will send its very own team to the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colo., this weekend.

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ULIFall2016

The Urban Land Institute held its 2016 Fall Meeting in Dallas last week with a tizzy of tours, sessions, networking events, and dinners. In my experience, the biggest benefit of a conference is in the networking. But the content at this one also covered a large array of subjects, from community engagement to redeveloping skyscrapers, to global trends, to niche discussions like “To Sell or To Hold,” and “The Fundamentals of Attracting and Keeping Companies North Texas Style.”

Tuesday I led a tour of the seven new development projects going up in the Bishop Arts District for the Colorado ULI chapter through the North Central Texas Congress for New Urbanism (more on that to come!) Wednesday and Thursday I got to catch a few sessions.

Highlights from the sessions included:

  • new metrics to qualify which dense urban cities are the best investment opportunities
  • innovative ideas for community engagement (from Detroit, of course)
  • the argument for building wood frame apartments above concrete podium parking.

And one topic repeatedly came up in each session — whether in the presentation,  in conversations with attendees, or by Q&A with audiences — affordable housing.

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Leta Mae 1Recently I was asked my thoughts on a neighborhood changing its name. While that story is in production, I will say this: if ever there was a community that should change its name, that would be Farmers Branch.

Why? Because there are some gorgeous homes in Farmers Branch, very upscale, sleek and sophisticated, and the location is stellar: just north of the 635 Loop, convenient to 35E and DFW, especially now that 635 is nearing it’s 2000 year (or so it seemed) completion. I know I am risking the wrath of an entire community, a really great community, but I just have to apologize in advance and SAY IT. And it’s not just the recent negative publicity from that inane immigration ordinance attempt, it’s the tone and inference of the word “Farmer” that has been etched into us all since, well, The Farmer in the Dell:
farmer

I say try Ranchers Hollow, or Ranchers Branch. Or how about Farnsworth Branch, borrowing the name of a lovely rural road (probably not so rural anymore) in my native suburban Illinois?

Because look at this sizzling sustainable showplace at 2619 Leta Mae Lane that is for sale in FB and all she has to offer! (more…)

983 Sylvania Front

983 Sylvania was taken to the studs and rebuilt into an LEED Gold masterpiece by D’J Perkison. But how do you find the right buyer for such a unique home? All photos by MetroplexHD.com

There are a few Dallas homes that are so unique that they earn a permanent spot in the bit of our brains exclusively wired for real estate. For me, this Eastwood midcentury modern that was completely re-imagined by architect D’J Perkison is one of those homes. You probably had the distinct pleasure of touring this East Dallas marvel at 983 Sylvania during this year’s White Rock Home Tour and thought, “What a wonderful way to breathe new life into an outdated home!”

And that’s just the reaction Perkison, founder of Studio Perk, was hoping for. When she bought this home with her husband and set upon remodeling it, the goal was to use only the most sustainable materials possible. The results were stunning, of course.

983 Sylvania Living

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LEED Allen

Happy Earth Day, CandysDirt.com readers!

What a wonderful day to celebrate everything easy on the Earth, things that go in the ground, and all of the fabulous homes that help to reduce your ecological footprint using energy-efficient design and finishes. Today we want to show off the great variety of homes you can find on the market today in a multitude of neighborhoods that are all LEED Certified. Whether in the Dallas Arts District, Midway Hollow, Fort Worth, or Allen — green homes are everywhere today and come in so many different styles. From chateaus to condos, there’s something for everyone who wants to tread lightly on the Earth!

Jump to see our list of the top 5 LEED Certified homes in North Texas!

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