Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Sun Plans' Favorite Resources
The following resources are some of Sun Plans' favorites. Contradictory information can cause confusion. This is not only true for energy-related information, but now the green layer is interwoven. On the following web sites, other energy professionals have already sorted through much of the research. This helps save time and energy!
Green Building Advisor
"Dedicated to providing the most useful, accurate and complete information about designing, building and remodeling energy-efficient, sustainable, and healthy homes."
Some of Sun Plans favorite energy professionals are the Green Building Advisor editors and advisors. Martin Holliday, the energy nerd, also wrote The Sun-Inspired House book review.
GreenHome Institute
A non-profit providing consumer and builder services as well as guidelines to help assure the home is built to low-energy and healthy standards. Excellent weekly educational webinars on subjects related to high-performance homes. Learn more at:
Zero Energy Ready Homes
The DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes programs is designed to help builders, architects, designers, and home buyers take meaningful steps towards radically reducing carbon emissions and energy bills by building net Zero Energy Ready Homes. The program encompasses energy savings, energy creation (photovoltaics), water savings and healthy indoor air. Sun Plans is a partner.
Another program worth checking out is the .
Energy Star
With almost 25% of the new homes built to Energy Star ratings, it really doesn't make sense not to build to Energy Star standards. They require a home to achieve an energy performance of at least 30% above 2009 IECC (still used by some jurisdictions) energy codes which are minimum standards. Even if the official Energy Star rating is not achieved, it still is very practical to follow the guidelines and oversight of an Energy Star professional (HERS Rater or BPI Analyst) home energy rater.  The fees for third-party raters are generally very affordable. Sun Plans generally recommends an improvement of 50-60% better than code which is an HERS score of 40 - 50 which can result in a HERS score of 0-10 when PV panels are added. A score of Zero would result a net zero energy home.
Construction Web Sites and Magazines
Sun Plans has worked closely with builders and has a strong admiration for their practical knowledge, and ability to suggest different ways of achieving energy goals. Articles in these journals routinely weave energy and green information into the numerous construction technologies as they explore the pros and cons of materials and methods. These two have both a print and online presence worth reading.
Energy Vanguard
Experts on HVAC - heating ventilation and air conditioning. Energy Vanguard can provide HVAC design for Sun Plans clients. Subscribing to their blog and learning about HVAC will save time in working Sun Plans since there will be less questions to ask during the Consulting and Review Services. 
American Solar Energy Society
The primary organization of the United States for education about solar energy of all kinds. The Online Community for members allows for the exchange of information professionally and for home owners. The ASES website has many resources. Annually they host a National Solar Tour and some of the virtual tours are kept up on the site year round. Sun Plans has had customers participate since the beginning - for over 20 years.
Building Science Corporation
Although very technical, Building Science Corporation's collection of articles under Homeowner Resources is a good place for those readers who love details about energy and moisture as they relate to building design and construction.
Sun Plans Architectural Consulting Services
Don't have time to sort through the abundance of information? Still feeling confused or overwhelmed by one or more aspects related to passive solar? Sun Plans can help through Consulting Services. Although it is widely thought that architects primarily draw, one of the primary tasks is to research and assist home owners with the elements important to them in designing and constructing their own sun-inspired home.