DOE Tour of Zero: Pebble Creek by DP Construction
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DP Construction built this 3,021-square-foot home in Prattville, Alabama, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
Even without photovoltaics, the energy-efficiency measures built into the house are expected to cut energy costs nearly in half compared to a home built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.
Overhangs and covered porches help to control solar heat gain in this warm-humid climate.
This Zero Energy Ready home was prewired for solar photovoltaic electric generation.
Ceiling fans help occupants feel more comfortable with less use of an air conditioner.
All lighting in the home uses high-efficiency compact fluorescent or light emitting diode (LED) lamps.
The windows are double paned and vinyl framed with low-emissivity coatings on the glass to reduce heat transfer.
The home meets the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor airPLUS certification program including the use of low- or no-VOC wood products, primer, paint, cabinets, and flooring.
The home was equipped with a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR refrigerator and dishwasher for energy and water savings.
An on-demand hot water circulation pump ensures that hot water is available when it is needed while avoiding wasting water by letting it run to heat it up.
The home’s four wall-mounted ductless mini-split heat pumps provide zoned heating and cooling.
For water heating, the builder chose a 50-gallon high-performance heat pump water heater, with an efficiency rating of 2.40.
Controls for the on-demand hot water circulation pump are located near the kitchen sink and in the master bedroom.
The outside components of the high-efficiency ductless heat pumps use a refrigerant cycle to pull heat from the air in the winter and shed heat to the air in the summer so they can provide both heating and cooling using less energy than electric-resistance heaters.
The 2-by-6 advanced framed walls use less lumber, allowing more space in the wall cavities for insulation.
The builder installed 1.5 inches of soy-based spray foam on the outside of the walls over the OSB sheathing, then he kept a ¾-inch gap between the foam and the brick veneer siding to allow moisture vapor from the bricks to dissipate.
The home’s unvented attic is insulated on the underside of the roof deck with 11 inches of soy-based spray foam.
Spray foam wraps the home in a blanket of thermal protection behind the bricks.
“With no additional cost upfront … homeowners … are able to move in and instantly reap the benefits of owning such an efficient and sustainable home.”
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“This home has been constructed with an exceptional attention to detail that will continually pay off ... without any additional cost per square foot. With no additional cost upfront for homeowners, they are able to move in and instantly reap the benefits of owning such an efficient and sustainable home; and [they] will continue to do so for years to come.”
– Dow Perry, owner, DP Construction