DOE Tour of Zero: Row Homes at RidgeGate by Thrive Home Builders
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Thrive Home Builders constructed this multifamily building in Denver, Colorado, to the performance criteria of the DOE Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
Each 1,815-square-foot unit is estimated to have average utility costs of less than $45 a month from the combined energy-efficiency measures and a 2.6-kW solar electric generation system.
Balconies provide outdoor space and shade entry areas to help cool air for ventilation.
Masonry fins between units provide shading and privacy.
Continuous hot water is provided by a tankless gas water heater, and a circulation pump speeds hot water to the tap. All water fixtures and faucets are low-flow to comply with the EPA WaterSense Program.
The home uses energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting and ENERGY STAR appliances to minimize energy use.
Each unit’s heating needs are met by a 92% efficient furnace. All of the ducts are located within the conditioned spaces of the home and are sealed with mastic.
Strategically placed windows let daylight in, reducing the need for overhead lighting. The high-performing windows have vinyl frames, double panes, and an argon-gas fill to help keep out the hot and cold.
To help protect indoor air quality, each unit starts with good moisture management construction, clean ducts, and a passive radon mitigation system.
The home features no- or low-VOC paints and finishes to meet the EPA Indoor airPLUS requirements and to help ensure healthy air inside the home.
This home uses advanced framing techniques including double-stud walls to allow more room for insulation and a better thermal break. All framing materials were locally harvested from standing dead trees in the Colorado mountains.
Spray foam insulation was applied to the rim joists to provide insulation and draft protection. Duct work runs through the space between the floor joists for efficient heating and cooling air distribution.
The vented attic has a total insulation value of R-50, and all top plates and canned lights are air-sealed with caulking.
Thrive shows consumers how home components work together to provide a more comfortable, efficient, and durable home. The displays allow visitors to see inside the walls, attics, and other hidden spaces that are critical to the home’s function, but are otherwise invisible.
“This community offers the ability for buyers to purchase a home that can be taken to zero energy now or in the future.”
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“RidgeGate was designed with large monolithic roof planes. ... This, along with a site plan providing strong solar access, allowed Thrive to maximize the solar photovoltaic systems on each residence. This community offers the ability for buyers to purchase a home that can be taken to zero energy now or in the future.”
– Bill Rectanus, vice-president of homebuilding operations, Thrive Home Builders