DOE Tour of Zero: Custer Custom by Bellingham Bay Builders
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Bellingham Bay Builders built this 1,835-square-foot custom home in Custer, Washington, to the high performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The exterior walls of this high-performance home are actually two stud-framed walls built side-by-side to form a thick wall cavity that was stuffed with fiberglass insulation and wrapped with an OSB sheathing that was glued at the edges and covered with a taped house wrap to provide a continuous water and air barrier behind the ¾-inch drainage plane material, which provides a ventilation gap under the fiber cement, metal, and fir siding.
The detached garage keeps fumes away from this EPA Indoor airPLUS certified home.
Advanced LED lighting and ENERGY STAR appliances add to electric and water savings in the home, which receives all of its water from rainwater and an on-site well.
The home’s passive solar design includes insulated exposed concrete floor slab that absorbs solar radiation from the large south-facing windows. A ducted mini-split heat pump provides additional heating and cooling.
The home’s triple-paned, PVC-framed, argon-filled windows provide exceptional insulating properties.
The 80-gallon heat pump water heater pulls heat from outside air drawn from the south side of the house and exhausts cooled air outside on the north side of the house to efficiently heat water without impacting interior room temperatures.
The energy recovery ventilator operates continuously to provide clean fresh air throughout the home.
The builder blanketed the underside of the shed-style roof with 4 inches of closed-cell poly-iso spray foam then stuffed the remaining ceiling cavity with high-density fiberglass batts for an exceptional attic insulation value of R-70.
The home’s fresh air system supplies filtered outside air to multiple locations in the home and continuously exhausts stale air to provide clean, balanced ventilation.
“We have lived in the home for two years now and couldn't be happier … Most of all, we enjoy the comfortable conditions and clean, healthy air year-round.”
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“We have lived in the home for two years now and couldn't be happier with the quality of construction, the ease of living, cleaning, and maintaining the home. Most of all, we enjoy the comfortable conditions and clean, healthy air year-round. For the first year, every room in the home was monitored, the temperature and humidity never varied by more than a few degrees or percent throughout the house ... even when [we were] on vacation and all systems were shut down.”