2011 U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon – Univ. of Maryland Selects Renu

Posted on: June 29th, 2011 at 10:15 pm0 comments »



The University of Maryland Solar Decathlon Team selected Renu Building & Energy Solutions to help provide energy performance analysis on their WaterShed home as part of their entry in the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon competition hosted in Washington, DC.

Every few years, the U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.  The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, the University of Maryland returns to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in 2011 with WaterShed—an entry that proposes solutions to water and energy shortages.  The house is a model of how the built environment can help preserve watersheds everywhere by managing storm water onsite, filtering pollutants from greywater, and minimizing water use.  The photovoltaic and solar thermal arrays, effectiveness of the building envelope, and efficiency of the mechanical systems make WaterShed less thirsty for fossil fuels than standard homes.

This is the fourth time the University of Maryland (UMD) has received the honor to compete in the Solar Decathlon.  In 2002, Maryland received a 4th place finish in the inaugural Decathlon, while UMD’s 2005 Decathlon entry won the People’s Choice and Solar Innovation awards.  In 2007, Maryland’s LEAFHouse placed first in the nation and second in the world, won the People’s Choice Award, and received a host of other awards from industry and professional associations.  This year’s WaterShed team is hoping for continued improvement and another top finish.

For those interested in attending the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, DC, the event will have a new location at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park, and will run from September 23 – October 2, 2011.

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Baker

Professional Builder Magazine Honors Brian Baker with Top 40 Under 40

Posted on: June 28th, 2011 at 9:37 pm1 comments »

In the June 2011 issue of Professional Builder magazine, co-owner of studio26 homes and Renu Building & Energy Solutions, Brian Baker, was honored and recognized as one of the top 40 Under 40 homebuilding professionals in the United States.  To see the publication, please click here or click on the image below.

Professional Builder - June 2011 - Brian Baker - 40 Under 40

Professional Builder - June 2011 - Brian Baker - 40 Under 40

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Baker

The Morning Call features studio26 homes

Posted on: February 1st, 2011 at 11:16 am1 comments »

Super Green: Taking the Energy-Efficient Home One Step Further

Article highlighting the innovative work of Lehigh Valley, high-performance custom homebuilder and designer, studio26 homes, in the January 15, 2011 issue of The Morning Call.

Please click on the image below to read the full article.

Super Green: Taking the Energy-Efficient Home One Step Further

Super Green: Taking the Energy-Efficient Home One Step Further

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Baker

WFMZ-TV 69 News Highlights studio26 homes’ Work with City of Allentown

Posted on: December 13th, 2010 at 10:03 pm0 comments »

As part of Allentown’s renewed Homesteading Program, studio26 homes (with the assistance of Renu Building & Energy Solutions) was brought in to help the City of Allentown ‘go green’ and deliver a more sustainable, more energy-efficient, and healthy green rehabilitation of a previously dilapidated townhome.  Through a successful partnership with the City of Allentown, championed by Leonard Lightner (Rehabilitation Supervisor, Bureau of Building Standards and Safety) and the diligent contracting efforts of Doall Construction, studio26 homes helped provide valuable green building insight and experience as the trailblazing home is currently on track to not only become an Energy Star Qualified Home but also receive a National Green Building Standard Gold or Emerald Certification.  The transcript of the WFMZ-TV 69 News segment is shown below.  To see the video, please click here.


Allentown’s Homesteading Program Marks Milestone

Building communities by cleaning up blighted properties and boosting first time home ownership, that’s the goal of Allentown’s Homesteading Program.


Today the city celebrated a milestone, taking its first home from trashed to treasured.


“You didn’t even want to step in it,” said homeowner Rosa Sanchez. “I always wanted my own brand new house and I got it.”


Sanchez and her family bought the house from the city and the redevelopment authority for a dollar.


“Once we have transferred the house to the homeowner we turn around at that point and we fix up their property based off their qualification income wise and their loan amount,” said Allentown Rehabilitation Supervisor Leonard Lightner.


The homeowner pays off that loan amount like a mortgage over a set number of years. In this case the loan amount is $60,000.


Program officials say it’s a way to granting the dream of first time home ownership and getting the property back on the tax rolls.


“We have 11 properties sitting in inventory right now,” said Lightner.


Officials say everything in these homes will be energy efficient, energy star rated or use green technology.


This first home will serve as a blue print for the others with the help of green energy consultant Studio 26 homes out of Orefield.


“It’s about enabling the city and all of the workers involved to not only deliver this home but every one there after as part of a larger overall goal for the city,” said studio26 homes owner, Brian Baker.


The homes will be funded by the city rental rehabilitation program and a $150,000 grant from the state.

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Baker

NATIONAL SOLAR TOUR – October 2, 2010

Posted on: September 28th, 2010 at 10:28 pm0 comments »

On Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Demonstration Home designed and crafted by studio26 homes (the sister company of Renu Building & Energy Solutions) will be featured once again in the 2010 National Solar Tour & Green Buildings Open House.  The National Solar Tour is organized yearly by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) in conjunction with the Green Buildings Open House coordinated by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).  If you’re interested in learning about and experiencing high-performance, healthy home construction in Pennsylvania’s first U.S. Green Building Council LEED-Silver Certified Home, then please feel free to come out to [address withheld] on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  We’ll see you then!

Posted in Uncategorized by Brian Baker