DOE Tour of Zero: ICF Home by Charis Homes
You are here
Charis Homes built this 5,505-square-foot home in North Canton, Ohio, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The south-facing roof above the garage was designed for the addition of a solar photovoltaic electric generation system.
The builder took advantage of the sloping lot with a daylight basement design that permits more living space on a smaller footprint.
The home meets the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS certification, including the use of primer, paint, cabinets, and flooring that emit no or very few air contaminants.
A sealed-combustion fireplace is vented to the outside for the intake of combustion air and the exhaust of combustion gases.
ENERGY STAR appliances and EPA WaterSense-qualifying fixtures add to energy and water savings in the high-performance home.
Lighting throughout the open-floorplan home is provided by advanced technology LED lighting and daylighting through energy-efficient windows, which adds to energy savings.
The home’s double-pane windows have low-emissivity coatings to limit heat transmission and an argon gas fill between the panes that improves their insulating abilities.
Ceiling fans circulate air and can help reduce the need for air conditioning.
The home meets the EPA WaterSense requirement for efficient hot water distribution so water isn’t wasted at the tap.
Insulated concrete forms (ICF) have insulation built right into them and help to form a continuous thermal blanket around the building.
A water-resistant barrier helps to protect basement walls.
Most of the home’s exterior walls were constructed with insulated concrete forms. ICFs combine foam insulation with steel-reinforced concrete for durable and well-insulated walls.
ICFs form a tightly air-sealed, highly insulated structure for this home, contributing to energy cost savings of over $4,000 per year compared to a similar-sized home built to code.
The weather-resistant house wrap is taped at the seams and the windows are flashed to help form a continuous moisture barrier around the home.
Overhangs help to protect windows from high summer sun and winter storms.
Reflective insulation is placed below hot water pipes in the floor as part of the radiant heating system.
Tubing will circulate hot water under the flooring to provide radiant floor heat. The water is heated by an ultra-efficient geothermal heat pump.
Sealed and insulated air ducts make up a comfort delivery system that carries air from the geothermal heat pump or air conditioner throughout the house.
The geothermal heat pump provides hot water directly to the radiant heating system, supplies heat for domestic hot water, and provides heat to the air handler for space conditioning upstairs. An air conditioner is also included as part of the comfort system.
A heat recovery ventilator supplies all living spaces with fresh air while exchanging heat between the ingoing and outgoing air streams.
An independent rater conducts a blower door test to see how carefully the house was air-sealed.
“The increased comfort level and more even indoor temperatures are noticeably better in the Zero Energy Home.”
Click the box to learn more.
“While our prior home was entirely remodeled and rebuilt as energy efficiently as possible, the increased comfort level and more even indoor temperatures are noticeably better in the Zero Energy Home. While the ICF construction greatly reduced the temperature swings, it also significantly reduced the noise level inside the home.”