DOE Tour of Zero: Chamberlain Court #75 by High Performance Homes
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High Performance Homes built this 6,869-square-foot home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The 6.25-kW solar electric system uses roof-integrated photovoltaic shingles for a low profile and contributes to reducing utility bills by nearly $4,000 compared to a minimum code home.
The structural insulated panel (SIP) thermal blanket wall system is clad with stucco and stone.
The SIP thermal blanket walls (R-24) help block out noise as well as heat and cold while providing draft-free, quiet, and comfortable interiors.
Advanced solid-state lighting technology is installed throughout the home –- 90% of the fixtures are LED.
The home’s expansive interior is heated and cooled by an ultra-efficient ground-source heat pump.
High-efficiency windows feature the ENERGY STAR label, double-pane glass with an argon gas fill, and advanced low-emissivity coatings that reduce heat loss in winter and solar heat gain in summer while providing natural daylight.
The home was equipped with a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerator and dishwasher for energy and water savings.
ENERGY STAR-rated ceiling fans provide cooling air movement, reducing the need for air conditioning.
Circulating pumps on the hot water lines are controlled by timers, demand switches, and occupancy sensors to speed hot water to faucets just when it’s needed to reduce water and energy usage.
Water-saving low-flow plumbing fixtures were installed in the home’s bathrooms and kitchen to reduce water and energy usage.
ENERGY STAR ceiling fans and natural daylighting help to reduce energy use.
An energy monitoring system helps the homeowners track energy usage and solar power production.
The home is equipped with an advanced filtration system capable of removing 99.7% of contaminants from the indoor air.
The ultra-efficient ground source heat pumps (COP 4.4) deliver conditioned air throughout the home via an interior comfort system with ducts installed in the insulated attic and basement.
The home’s fresh air system consists of an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that pulls fresh air in through a filter while exhausting stale air to the outside. The two air streams pass through a heat exchanger where heat from the warmer stream is passed to the cool air stream, helping to keep warmth in the home in winter and out of the home in summer.
All of the heating system’s ducts are professionally sealed with mastic to prevent air leakage.
A desuperheater draws excess heat from the ground source heat pump to preheat hot water for use in the home, helping to lower utility bills.
The builder installed a vapor barrier on the ground before installing 2 inches of XPS rigid foam under the entire slab. Interior and exterior footing drains keep water from accumulating around the foundation.
SIP walls are glued at the seams for airtight, draft-free construction.
The rim joists are tied to the SIP wall panels for wind-resistant construction.
Hurricane strapping will attach from the concrete foundation to the walls for increased resistance to high winds. Sill sealing caulk and foam gaskets prevent air leakage and keep out bugs.
Interior and exterior footing drains keep moisture away from the foundation. Spray-on waterproofing helps the concrete foundation walls resist moisture.
SIP panels are precision cut in a factory and come to the job site ready for quick assembly.
A thick (R-49) layer of spray foam insulates and air seals the ceiling of the unvented attic, providing a protected environment for the home’s ducts.
Metal flashing and step flashing details are integrated with the shingle roofing to protect gables from water intrusion.
“We were attracted to the home by the fact that it had a complete high-performance package -- high energy efficiency, high water efficiency, air filtration for indoor air quality.”
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“We were attracted to the home by the fact that it had a complete high-performance package – high energy efficiency, high water efficiency, air filtration for indoor air quality. We had thought about energy efficiency quite a bit over the years … but we didn’t know of any builders who were building energy-efficient homes. Then we ran across High Performance Homes’ displays at the Links. The SIP panels make the home very structurally sound and make a very energy-efficient building envelope for the house. All I’ve had to pay for is the distribution charges.”
– Homeowner in neighborhood