There are many different energy efficient building standards and techniques out there
- Energy Star Homes (US) - LEED for Homes (US) - Superinsulation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superinsulation - Minergie-P (Switzerland) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINERGIE - Factor 10 Engineered Homes ("10 times less energy") http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factor_10 - R-2000 (Canada) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R-2000_program - Passivhaus/CEPHEUS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passivhaus
And the brand-new Mosaic Commons Cohousing / Sawyer Hill Ecovillage in Berlin Massachusetts is using Superinsulation (well, some may argue “not quite” since we don’t quite have R40 walls/R60 roof but we are darn close!) thanks to advice from Marc Rosenbaum / Energysmiths. I think some of the most interesting advice was to use AIR SOURCE heat pumps. We are using Daikin brand pumps because they seem to be some of the best at having a network of indoor-units that can be controlled together for an entire large large building, like our Common House.
Oh, and we meet the Energy Star Homes standard. And we decided not to pay to get LEED for Homes certification, but according to my estimate after working through the forms, we would score enough to meet the Silver standard. I believe we were close to being Gold. Nice!