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Sustainable Building & Remodeling

Passive Homes and Deep Energy Retrofits in Madison, Wisconsin

TDS Custom Construction is Madison’s expert in Sustainable Remodeling, Deep Energy Retrofits, and Passive Home Construction. By thoughtfully choosing materials and practices for your next project, you can enjoy healthier air quality, save money on energy bills, and help reduce the environmental impact of remodeling and construction.

Here’s how TDS makes every project more sustainable.

  • Choosing durable materials
  • Improving indoor comfort and air quality through air-sealing and insulating techniques
  • Encouraging use of renewable energy sources
  • Net-zero & Passive House building practices for new construction
  • Implementing building performance, testing, analysis, and modeling metrics

Sustainability for your home can mean a lot of things. This blog post breaks it down below into three easily digestible parts: from sustainable remodeling to deep energy retrofits and passive home construction.

Sustainable Remodeling

Take the First Step in Making Your Home Greener

Choose sustainable materials, practices, and technology for your remodeling project. Our dedicated team can help you select long-lasting, low-impact products. While no material is perfect, our team can help you weigh the pros and cons- whether you’re focused on indoor air quality, energy use, or the like.

Sustainable technology, like a smart thermostat, can regulate your home’s temperature with ease.  Energy-efficient appliances can be beautiful, useful, and eco-friendly. Our team can make these choices easier with expert advice on what’s worth buying and what’s not.

Home Performance Evaluations are an important tool in energy efficient remodeling. This evaluation shows what works in your home and what could use improvement. We use special diagnostic tools, like thermal cameras and a blower door test to see where your home is losing heat and leaking air. We inspect  your insulation levels and evaluate the R-values on your roof, windows, and exterior.  Our goal is to coordinate the effectiveness and efficiency of the systems working within your home to improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing operational costs.

With these updates, you can expect savings from:

  • Improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment
  • Less need for maintenance and increased building longevity
  • Increased equity and potential for higher resale value

Deep Energy Retrofit

Harness the Embodied Energy in Your Home

Given the time we’re living in, it’s essential to adapt your current home to climate change as best as possible. Have an existing home and location that you love? With a Deep Energy retrofit you will gain efficiency, invest in the preservation of your city’s housing stock, and stay in your home. You can also expect improved indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and durability.

A deep energy retrofit is a whole-building analysis and construction process that achieves much larger energy cost savings (typically more than 50% reduction!)  than those of simpler energy upgrades and fundamentally enhances the building value and performance.

Some more pros of retrofitting: It harnesses the embodied energy in your existing materials and because you’re not replacing everything; retrofitting creates less waste than new home construction.

Some retrofitting options:

  • Updating the thermal envelope with better insulation and air sealing
  • Upgrade the heating, cooling, and hot water systems in your home for maximum efficiency
  • Add a ventilation system to your home with energy recovery

With over thirty years of experience remodeling and vast knowledge of home performance, we can make your home even more livable for the future of your family and our planet.

Passive Home Construction

A New Home Built to Last

The term Passive House refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its environmental impact. It results in ultra-efficient buildings that require little, if any, energy for heating or cooling. “Passive Home Construction” means a completely new build focused on sustainability.

A passive house is a wise investment for those who wish to consider the environmental impact of their housing. Passive homes use an integrated, conservation-based approach to drastically reduce the amount of energy a building uses. A combination of super-insulation and excellent air-tightness, high-performance windows and doors, passive solar strategies, and continuous ventilation with energy recovery, work together to achieve the end goal of energy use reductions, which results in vastly reduced utility bills.

Beyond this, a small, affordable amount of solar panels can further reduce the energy use of the house to zero – achieving what is popularly known as Net-Zero energy use (TLDR: vastly reduced utility bills!)

Passive houses, by their nature, also provide superior comfort and indoor air quality. You won’t find the drafts and cold spots and large temperature swings you find in conventionally-built houses; and the constant flow of filtered, fresh air reduces allergens, pollutants and CO2 levels. For further information on Passive House, see Christi Weber’s presentation on the subject to a group of Door County residents or check out our blog series that takes a deep dive into one Passive House construction journey. Check out the first of three posts here.

As one of Wisconsin’s only companies to both have a Passive House certified designer and builder all under one roof, we are excited to be able to offer the entire design-build package for high-performance homes (including Passive House and Net-zero) to our clients. If you’re thinking about building an energy efficient custom new home or a deep-energy retrofit of an existing house, we’d love to hear from you!