DOE Tour of Zero: Invision Zero Home by Addison Homes
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Addison Homes built this 2,625-square-feet home in Greenville, South Carolina, to the performance criteria of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program. The energy and water saving features are estimated to save $2,323 per year and $120,991 over a 30-year mortgage.
Vinyl siding provides a low-maintenance exterior of this high-performance home, which is expected to cost its homeowners only $11 a month in energy costs, thanks to a high-performance envelope and the solar electric generation system.
Advanced lighting technology is installed throughout the home—more than 95% of the fixtures are LED.
Even on overcast days, the main areas of the home are flooded with natural light through skylights, sun tunnels, and roof windows.
The home is piped with a hot water recirculation loop that connects near each hot water fixture. The ENERGY STAR-rated tankless water heater has a smart controller that “learns” the occupants’ hot water usage patterns and circulates hot water through the loop when the residents are most likely to need it.
Cooking fumes and moisture are vented to the exterior and the home has ENERGY STAR-rated bathroom fans controlled by timers. A whole-building central air filter and purification unit minimizes mold spores, viruses, odors, chemical vapors, and dust. These measures help the home meet the EPA Indoor airPLUS requirements.
A web-connected smart thermostat monitors interior and exterior conditions and can be adjusted remotely using the Internet or a wireless app.
Ceiling fans may make the home feel more comfortable and reduce the need for air conditioning.
EPA WaterSense-certified low-flow fixtures are used throughout the home to save water and energy. Aging-in-place features include a curbless shower, wide doorways, and solid blocking behind the walls to accommodate future grab bars.
Low- and no-VOC building materials including carpet, flooring, paints, and adhesives help reduce chemical emissions in the home.
Skylights let in natural light but also include blinds that automatically control glare and heat gain based on the time of year, time of day, and the orientation of the building.
The conditioned, partially finished attic in this home is insulated with 8 inches (R-28) of open-cell polyurethane spray foam that helps keep the space warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
The ENERGY STAR-rated washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator save water and energy.
A paint-on waterproofing on top of the concrete-block foundation walls and piers impedes the movement of moisture into the above-grade walls.
The outside of this home is wrapped in a continuous layer of rigid foam sheathing that is taped at the seams. The taped foam is multipurpose - serving as an air barrier, thermal barrier, weather-resistant barrier, and drainage plane all in one.
The advanced framing used in this home matches the strength of conventional framing while reducing thermal breaks and providing more room for insulation in the exterior walls.
The foam-insulated attic provides a conditioned space for the sealed and insulated ductwork and the high-efficiency variable-speed heat pump.
Strategically placed solar venting skylights and roof windows provide ventilation. The remotely controlled skylights can be programmed to open at specific times and have sensors so they will automatically close during rainy weather.
The 8.75-kW of solar electric shingles on the south-facing roof generate enough electricity to meet the Zero Energy Ready Home’s electricity needs over the course of a year.
The solar electric shingles are warrantied for 20 years as both roofing and solar panels. The homeowner can monitor solar generation remotely via the Internet.
“Many people wonder if a conventionally styled home can really produce as much electricity as it consumes. This project proves it’s not only possible, it’s practical.”
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“Our goal is to showcase zero energy as an attractive, attainable option for mainstream consumers everywhere. Many people wonder if a conventionally styled home can really produce as much electricity as it consumes. This project proves it’s not only possible, it’s practical. Our goal for this project is a home that scores 0 on the HERS Index but rates a perfect 10 with today’s homeowners.”
– Todd Usher, builder, Addison Homes