DOE Tour of Zero: Village Park Eco Home by Sterling Brook Custom Homes
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You can do a lot with $1,700 a year -- that is how much the owners of this certified U.S. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home by Sterling Brook Homes are expected to save each year.
Even without solar energy panels, this high-efficiency custom home achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 44, far below the HERS 100 score of typical new homes.
High-efficiency windows with double or triple panes, insulated frames, and special reflective coatings allow plenty of daylight inside while keeping out unwanted heat and damaging ultraviolet rays.
The high-efficiency Sterling Brook custom home uses an energy management/home automation system operated by mobile devices to control heating and cooling, lighting, and audio/video equipment.
High-efficiency appliances include an ENERGY STAR refrigerator and dishwasher.
Water-saving fixtures and recycled glass countertops are among the resource-efficient features in this home.
High-efficiency lighting helps reduce energy costs.
High-efficiency ceiling fans help reduce cooling costs.
A professional lighting designer was used for lighting that enhanced the home’s looks without increasing energy usage, thanks to 100% LED advanced solid-state lighting technology.
An on-demand hot water pump speeds hot water to the low-flow fixtures for warm water without the wait or waste.
High-efficiency endless hot water technology includes two gas tankless water heaters.
Wood flooring milled from standing dead oak helps reduce the environmental impact of this home.
Bolted metal hurricane strapping that ties the roofing to the framing and the framing to the foundation walls is one of the severe-weather-resistant features. Other tornado-resistant features include a wind-resistant hip-roof design, unvented roof soffits, and a six-person storm shelter in the garage floor.
Engineered studs of wood mixed with resin provide very straight, strong studs for the 2-by-6 walls. High-efficiency advanced framing techniques include 24-inch on-center stud spacing, single top plates, 2-stud corners, and open headers over windows, reducing the amount of lumber used while allowing more room for insulation in the walls.
The home is wrapped in a continuous exterior thermal blanket of rigid foam insulation.
A water-resistant membrane that takes the place of house wrap is sprayed over the rigid foam to provide a weather-resistant air barrier. Inside, the wall cavities are filled with open-cell spray foam for comprehensive draft protection and a high-efficiency wall insulation value of R-21 to R-23.
"We have not made a conscious effort to conserve on energy. The house does it for us."
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"We came from a house that was 1,900 square feet. Wayne built us a house that is 7,000 square feet and the electricity bill is the same. It’s crazy, the difference. And we have not altered our standard of comfort. We have not made a conscious effort to conserve on energy. The house does it for us by the mere fact that it was built using the most energy-efficient products and methods in the industry."
– Homeowner Mike