It was about 20 years ago when I started casting in place concrete countertops. Not because they were in fashion, but because they were an affordable, beautiful alternative to expensive granite tops. The materials cost next to nothing – it took a little labor and ingenuity – that’s about it. Of course, now one can spend a fortune on a fashionable concrete counter.

We built these counters in our Noble Home demonstration house with the cast-in-place method using our metal roofing material as the substrate. Great fun and great results.

Placing concrete into formwork Concrete counters with formwork striped

Noble Home is setting a goal to offer Kits that can easily meet the standards for a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home. This has not been a goal in the past, and ZNE homes are not for everyone.

The accepted way to reach ZNE is through strict energy conservation first, then to produce enough energy on-site to supply what little is needed to run the home. This is most commonly done with the use of Photovoltaic panels (PV), which have become more affordable in the past decade. This means, of course, that all energy needs of the home must be powered by electricity - usually tied to the power grid. Is this sustainable long term? Do we necessarily want to rely on the grid for our power needs? ZNE: yes; but independence: no.

Nevertheless, a home ready for ZNE is very energy efficient and there may come some better technologies that can help attain ZNE while also promoting independence. Look for further information here in the near future!

We’re looking to expand the reach and accessibility of Noble Homes by offering incentives to qualified people assisting in selling and building our kits with our new Noble Home Sales Partner Program. If you are interested in helping your customers join the growing affordable green building movement, sign up to learn more and apply at www.buildnoble.com.