DOE Tour of Zero: Dominica Way by Amaris Homes
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Amaris Homes built this 3,716-square-foot home in Apple Valley, Minnesota, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
To water the lawn, rainwater is collected in a 2,000-gallon underground cistern.
The builder took advantage of the rear-facing slope with a daylight basement design that provides more living space on a smaller footprint.
Careful site grading and downspouts direct storm water runoff away from the home.
Covered porches and deep overhangs provide protection from summer heat gain and winter storms for this cold-climate home.
All paints, coatings, and adhesives are certified as no- or low-VOC emitting.
The home’s high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerator and dishwasher and advanced technology LED lighting contribute to energy and water savings throughout the home.
The vaulted ceilings are insulated with 2 inches of closed–cell spray foam plus blown cellulose for a thick blanket of thermal protection to help keep this loft space warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The high-efficiency comfort system includes a 98% efficient gas furnace and a high-efficiency air-source heat pump. A heat recovery ventilator provides fresh air to the home.
The concrete basement walls and floor are wrapped in a thermal blanket of R-10 rigid foam insulation.
High-density spray foam blankets the inside of the wall cavities with an air-sealing and insulating layer, while a continuous layer of rigid foam sheathing wraps the outside of the walls, providing a total wall insulation value of R-25.
This 2,000-gallon rainwater cistern will provide nearly 70% of the home’s irrigation water.
"This is the first home I've lived in that hasn't cost me an arm and a leg to heat during the winter. … Our lives are healthier.”
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"I've been living in the frosty Midwest for over 35 years, and this is the first home I've lived in that hasn't cost me an arm and a leg to heat during the winter. With our 12-kW rooftop PV system we generate far more electricity than we use. Our lives are healthier owing to the great effort the builders have gone to to eliminate or minimize harmful materials during construction."