DOE Tour of Zero: Jefferson Green by Health-E Community Enterprises of Virginia
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Health-E Community Enterprises of Virginia built this 2,666-square-foot multifamily project in Richmond, Virginia, to the high performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The advanced framed walls of these three-story townhomes are covered with brick veneer on the front that faces the Union Hill historic district, and the remaining sides are fiber cement siding with PVC, wood, and cast trim.
The plentiful windows include double-pane wood-framed windows with a U factor of 0.25 on the historic district-facing front side and triple-paned vinyl-framed windows with a U factor of 0.20 on the other sides.
The flat roofs are topped with tapered R-5 rigid foam insulation. A reflective waterproof walk-on membrane covers the flat roof surfaces and protects the lower edge of the penthouse walls.
To provide ventilation to the draft-free townhomes, each home was equipped with an energy recovery ventilator that transfers heat while exchanging fresh air for stale air.
ENERGY STAR appliances and ceiling fans and LED lighting help reduce energy usage in the efficient home.
Advanced framing techniques, including 2-by-6 walls spaced at 24 inches on center and ladder blocking at wall intersections, allow more space for insulation in the wall cavities while open-web floor joists provide space between floors for ducting.
A geothermal heat pump provides highly efficient heating (4.1 COP) and cooling (20.6 SEER) to the three-story home.
The sealed and insulated crawlspace provides a clean dry place for HVAC ducts.
The open-web roof joists will be filled with open-cell spray foam to provide R-57 of continuous insulation above the vaulted ceilings. The open-web roof and floor joists and other engineered structural products, such as laminated veneer lumber and I-beams, combine efficient raw material use with adhesives to provide more load-bearing capacity than traditional lumber, while resisting shrinking, twisting, splitting, and warping.
“I … have been breathing better recently than I can remember in years!”
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“I … have been breathing better recently than I can remember in years! Also, I have been so happy having the solar panels. It has done wonders for our electric bill! The last couple of months it has been less than $10.”