DOE Tour of Zero: Church Community Housing Corp. 1 by Caldwell and Johnson
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The first affordable home built by custom home builder Caldwell and Johnson of North Kingston, Rhode Island, is a certified U.S. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home.
The 2,244-square-foot, two-story home features three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a full basement, and a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 47, far lower than a minimum-code home.
A high-efficiency ductless heat pump with a small compressor outside and four air handlers inside provides advanced comfort technology for the home.
The home has a comprehensive whole-house water protection system including dry-by-design roof, walls, window and door openings, and foundation.
The home’s basement includes a high-efficiency heat pump water heater and high-efficient closed-cell spray foam insulation.
The home uses energy-saving advanced wall framing with thicker 2-by-6 studs spaced further apart to reduce the amount of lumber needed and provide more room for insulation.
The 2-by-6 wall framing is filled with 5.5 inches (R-23) of open-cell spray foam, which provides comprehensive draft protection, as well as a high-efficiency wall insulation system.
The high-efficiency wall framing shown here uses 2-by-4 studs with a 1.5-inch layer of rigid foam glued to one edge to block heat loss and gain through the wood.
The high-efficiency wall insulation system uses rigid foam on the interior face of the framing to block heat loss and gain through the wood.
"No reason why this shouldn’t be done across the board. None at all!"
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"High-end houses are neat and fun but I’m trying to show you can do this with affordable homes, too; you just need a tight envelope and good HVAC. No reason why this [DOE ZERH] shouldn’t be done across the board. None at all!"
– Builder Dave Caldwell
"We wanted to incorporate the latest technologies to make our home as energy-efficient and maintenance-free as possible. They were able to transform our ideas into reality in a very respectful and professional manner."
– Homeowner of another house