Every year as part of the International Builders Show, the National Association of Home Builders unveils a New American Home to showcase the latest in homebuilding trends and technologies. Looking at the green features in the 2010 model can shed insight into the types of things the average homeowner might do to reduce energy use and save money.
The house (pictured above; general specs: 6,100 sq. ft., faces east) is 49% more energy efficient than a similar house built to code. Its efficiency features are many. I’ll list some here, with links that further explain each so you can look into them and see if they’d be feasible to implement in your own home (or in your plans to build a home):
• Insulated concrete forms for the walls
• Energy efficient windows and doors
• Unvented attic with spray foam insulation under the roof and the inside the gables
• Heat recovery ventilator to provide fresh outdoor air with a minimal loss of energy
• Solar thermal hot water system
• Energy Star-rated appliances
• Fluorescent lamps and LEDs
• High-efficiency heating and cooling systems
• Solar electric system
• Greywater recycling system
• Tankless hot water heaters
• Green roof system
• Low VOC paints, stains, adhesives & sealants
• Dual flush waterclosets
• Low flow shower head and faucets
• Weather controlled irrigation system
Whew. Going through all that really makes you realize just how inefficient your house is, doesn’t it? Did for me, anyway.
Now, the unfortunate postscript to all this is that, for the first time in its 27-year history, the New American Home wasn’t finished in time for International Builders Show participants to walk through it. Today, the home is just 75% complete after the builder, Domanico Custom Homes, ran out of financing.
Fortunately for anyone looking to build some of these efficiency measures into their home, it’s most likely not 6,000 sq. ft. worth of expenses. Let us know if you've got any of these types of efficiency measures in your home by commenting below.