DOE Tour of Zero: Eco2 by BrightLeaf Homes
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BrightLeaf Homes built this 3,120-square-foot custom home in Brookfield, Illinois, to the high performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
Deep overhangs, covered porches, and fiber cement siding help protect this Chicago area home from the elements.
ENERGY STAR appliances and advanced LED lighting add to energy savings.
A dimpled rain mat and perforated drain pipe provide drainage around the basement foundation.
A 10-mil vapor barrier and rigid foam protect the foundation slab from cold and damp.
The builder staggers 2-by-4 studs on 2-by-6 top and bottom plates, which provides gaps to fill in insulation around the framing for a continuous blanket of insulation.
House wrap is carefully installed to provide a continuous air and water barrier around the home.
Dense-packed cellulose fills the walls and blankets the ceiling.
The roof is protected with coated OSB that is taped at all the seams then topped by 30-lb. roofing felt and a water-proofing membrane at all eaves to provide continuous water protection under the light-colored asphalt shingles.
The basement is half in and half out of the ground with only 4 feet below grade, which allows for full 36-inch-tall windows that are completely above grade.
“I think our most expensive gas bill for a 2,100-square-foot home was about $35.”
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“BrightLeaf took … care to ensure the foundation was solid, prevent the possibility of a basement flood, install insulation that was above building code requirements, and select an HVAC system that was efficient in order to last and result in low utility bills over the long run. … We’ve been living in our home a little less than a year now and we have not been disappointed. I think our most expensive gas bill for a 2,100-square-foot home was about $35.”