DOE Tour of Zero: Azalea by Tim O'Brien Homes
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Tim O'Brien Homes built this 5,725-square-foot custom home in New Berlin, Wisconsin, to the high performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The walls of the home are stuffed with dense-packed fiberglass and wrapped in a 1-1/6-inch layer of graphite-enhanced EPS rigid foam while the ceilings are covered with a half-inch air-sealing layer of closed-cell spray foam then blanketed with R-50 of blown fiberglass to surround the homeowners with a thick blanket of protection.
The 10.2-kW of roof-mounted solar panels help to keep the home’s utility bills low, saving homeowners an estimated $2,600 per year.
Advanced LED lighting provides energy-efficient lighting throughout the home.
The ENERGY STAR-rated double-pane windows have three layers of nearly invisible low-emissivity coatings to minimize heat transfer while allowing in plenty of sunlight.
The highly efficient (96%) two-stage gas furnace operates on three separate zones to provide efficient heating throughout the space.
The fully insulated daylight basement provides comfortable spaces to gather thanks to the continuous layers of insulation that wrap the basement walls.
Automated window blinds can be controlled from a computer or mobile device allowing the homeowner to set the opening schedule to allow in beneficial solar heat on winter days and keep out unwanted solar heat gain during summer months.
EPA WaterSense-labeled fixtures reduce water and energy use in the efficient home.
The basement walls of this cold-climate home are wrapped in 1-inch (R-5) of rigid XPS foam on the outside and 1-inch (R-6.3) rigid polyisocyanurate foam on the inside plus R-19 fiberglass in the finished interior walls.
“It makes a big difference in our bottom line and energy bills.”
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“So many … elements in the house … behind the scenes to the average homebuyer, but it makes a big difference in our bottom line and energy bills.”