DOE Tour of Zero: Emerald Star by Dwell Development
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Dwell Development built this 2117-square-foot home in Seattle, Washington, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
Reclaimed wood and metal roofing from old barns provides the unique exterior cladding of the home, which is located in Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood.
Durable standing-seam metal roofing covers the shed roof, which has very few penetrations to minimize heat loss and maximize the space available for solar photovoltaic panels. Dwell installed 8.1 kW of PV, which will help cut energy costs to $51 per year.
Dwell maximized use of space on the urban infill lot by splitting the parcel and constructing a net zero duplex behind the award-winning home.
Exterior lights are energy efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs).
The home was equipped with a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer for energy and water savings. Other features include an induction range.
All of the interior and exterior lamps use advanced light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology.
Triple-pane, ultra-efficient windows are almost three times as efficient as standard windows.
The home meets the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS certification including the use of structural wood products, primer, paint, cabinets, and flooring that give off few or no air contaminants.
The plumbing includes water-saving fixtures that comply with the U.S. EPA WaterSense program. Hot water is provided by an efficient heat pump water heater that uses 1 kW of energy to generate 4.5 kW of heat, using about 78% less energy than typical gas tank water heaters.
The open design brings natural daylight into the home’s interior.
Countertops, cabinets, and tile made locally from recycled materials contribute to the home’s inventory of eco-friendly components.
The floors, stairs, and treads were built out of 100-year-old hand-hewn mixed hardwoods from Montana.
Rainwater is collected with a harvesting system that includes a 420-gallon cistern storage tank. The rainwater is twice filtered and used in toilets and hose bibs.
A fresh air balanced system consisting of a heat recovery ventilator supplies all living spaces with filtered air.
Double-wall construction consists of two 2-by-4 walls set 7 inches apart providing a 12-inch-wide wall cavity that was filled with blown cellulose for a continuous R-46 thermal blanket around the walls.
A paint-on weather-resistant barrier and properly flashed high-performance windows help keep out water while 12 inches of insulation in the walls and 16 inches of insulation in the vaulted ceilings block out noise.
“They sell themselves because once people understand, then there is only one choice to make.”
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“A healthier place to live, with lower utility bills and less impact on the environment. As soon as this is understood, there is no need for us to sell our homes. They sell themselves because once people understand, then there is only one choice to make.”
– Anthony Maschmedt, builder, Dwell Development