The Power Of Efficiency
Trying to power a traditional home, especially an existing home, with enough renewable energy to make it net-zero, can be difficult. Deltecs high performance shell is built to maximize energy efficiency before solar is added, making the addition of renewable energyeither now, or down the roadmuch more manageable. In addition, our RESNET HERS Rater is available to ensure you achieve your green building goals.
The amount of solar panels required to achieve net-zero energy on a typical existing house
The amount of solar panels required for a Deltec to achieve net-zero energy
Avoidable Pitfalls And Creating A Graceful Process
Speaking of pitfalls, not planning for the important factors could cause easy to avoid but not unexpected surprises like cost overruns, contractor no-shows, schedule delays, environmental surprises, not getting the end results you hoped to see, poor-quality details, relationship frictions, and high-anxiety. Planning, designing, financing, building, and completing a high-performance custom home design project takes time, a bit of gusto, and money. Let us talk a little about costs and value.
How Do I Get A Net
Zero-energy homes can be found in new developments such as SpringLeaf in Boulder, Colorado, and in Fontana, California, where Meritage Homes is building Californias First Net-Zero Neighborhood called Sierra Crest. Zero energy homes can built on site by design and build companies such as Bright Build, Zeta Communities or Metro Green Home.
Viva Green Homes makes it easy to find net zero homes for sale across the country. In fact with our advanced search page you can find net zero homes with a check on a single box and many other types of energy efficient and eco-friendly homes like LEED certified, Energy Star certified, solar or geothermal powered and so on.
Photo credit: Meritage Homes
Kari Klaus is the Founder and CEO of Viva Green Homes Additional info about passive design can be found here. Net Zero certification information here. More information about the design and construction of a net zero home, please view the Zero Homes website.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.
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Early Planning Steps You Can Take To Get Started
Consider carefully the ten cost and value factors we shared earlier.Start collecting information months in advance of needing to start your project, if you can develop a look book, create Pinterest of houzz boards to hone your vision, and more.
If you looking for land to build on, we are happy to work with you and your realtor to visit home sites, review property maps and provide early assessments of their suitability for your needs. As relevant, we would examine solar orientation, views, any obvious environmental red-flags, wet areas, tree-clearing, locations for septic systems, topography opppourtunities and challenges etc. The right site makes all the difference in setting your project up for long-term success to maximize your investment.
Contact us through our website, tell us a little about your project, ask for our residential planning questionnaire. Using it helps set your project up for success.
We will send you a link to the questionnaire or if easier, click on the button below. Fill out our residential planning questionnaire online. We will email you the results.
We will set up a meeting with Google Meet or Zoom. There we will meet up and review your answers and ask more questions, as you will too. Here we will learn more about one another, clarify project vision, goals, budget, and timeline, and see if there is a fit between us.
View from drive looking towards the house and proposed garage
How Real Estate Brokers Can Help With Net Zero Construction In Vermont
When you begin your buying journey to build a net zero home in Vermont or New Hampshire, where should you start? What resources should you employ? Typically, buyers and even more so, sellers, of conventional residential homes will contact a real estate broker early in their journey.
But what about a net zero energy home? Are realtors capable of advising you about the newest technology or point you to a qualified builder? An article in Forbes calls the question: Are Real Estate Brokers Obsolete? We tend to think not, and for two reasons: 1) While a broker should and will have business relationships with builders specializing in net zero construction in Vermont, a broker is not their employee so you should get more of an objective opinion and 2) real estate brokers today often are highly knowledgeable regarding new energy-saving technologies.
Both the National Association of Realtors and the Multiple Listing Service are onboard with green energy homes. The MLS provides green data entry fields so that agents can enter energy-saving features into listings. And both buyers and realtors can utilize the help from the Green MLS Tool Kit. While these tools are new additions to the real estate market, they suggest that net zero construction in Vermont might just be the coming new norm.
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Like Living Outside On A Perfect Day
Curt Lindberg said it took a couple of years to build the Joslin Hill house because it was done in phases. He said he and his wife have long been concerned about environmental issues, and were aware of the passive house movement. It was a no-brainer to use his son’s company to build the house.
“We had a great experience working with them, designing a dream house,” Curt said. “Colin is a wonderful craftsman. It was a joy to watch him work with his crew. Usually you don’t get to see your kids at work, but we did.”
The house is extraordinarily comfortable, according to Curt.
“The architect told us when he was designing it, ‘You won’t believe this, but living in a passive house will be like being outside on a perfect day,'” Curt said.
Turns out, it’s like that because fresh air is pumped through the house constantly to make up for its nearly air-tight construction, which could be stifling without ventilation.
The Joslin Hill house is a regular stop for students at the Yestermorrow design/build school in Waitsfield, where students learn hands-on how to build an energy-efficient house.
“We’ve had several open houses,” Curt said. “It’s become pretty well known in the area.”
Colin LIndberg is currently at work on a net zero house in Fayston. Shelterwood does very little advertising, relying mostly on word-of-mouth, Lindberg said.
“I’m stubborn and I only want to build one way,” he said. “The clients who are looking for that we end up connecting.”
Looking For A Wider Net
Gauthier joined the company, then Winter Panel, in 1995, and he says hes long had an interest in net-zero design. His projects have included a net-zero Habitat for Humanity community designed with the help of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
We see a lot of high-end houses come through our shop, he said in a telephone interview, and I wanted to make net-zero-energy housing affordable to a broader spectrum of the market.
Theyre relatively modest in size. My thinking on that was you could start with a little house and as your needs grow, and a family comes along or what have you, you can always expand the house from there, just like they did with a lot of the old traditional New England farmsteads.
Houses have open floor plans, so owners will have an easy time of customizing them, and they should be relatively easy to expand.
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What Is A Net Zero Home
This is an example of a Net Zero home with everything necessary to require no outside energy input.
Our Homes have many of these features, while leaning toward the side of affordability.
They have the extra insulation, heat pump hot water heater, LED lighting and the solar panels to offset those energy requirements.
They also have an efficient natural gas furnace.
They are prepped for an extremely efficient air source heat pump
prepped for Electric Car Charger
That heat pump can be used for heating the house all year round and reduces the carbon footprint of the house.
The energy requirements of the heat pump can be offset by additional solar panels
Each home will come standard with a 3.6KW Solar Array
and prepared for expansion up to 12KW
What you get is a beautiful home with very low year round electricity expenses.
Unlike others, our homes are easily adaptable and prepared for the the future with more inherent value than a traditional spec home.
Each Customer will decide their level of commitment and cost they are comfortable with.
If you want to move in as is, you can
and if you want to add on later, it is setup to do so.
Or you can do the upgrades you decide first and incorporate the expense into the mortgage.
Full Courtesy to Realtors
Sorry, we don’t offer General Contracting.
Blue Zero South Carolina Home
You might think that a net zero home, being such a different type of home in its technical design, must also look radically different too. This beautiful example of a custom-designed net zero home in South Carolina proves that a net zero home can look completely ordinary – even traditional – on the outside.
This house was built by Blue Zero Homes.
Net zero house by Blue Zero homes
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How Does A Home Reach Net Zero Or Net Positive
Net-zero homes achieve their energy efficiency by working from the very start with this goal in mind. There are two sides to this equation the home design must be as energy efficient as possible so they require less energy and then it must maximize the use of on-site energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal so they produce enough energy to power the home on their own, achieving a net zero in-take of grid energy.
While energy efficiency and renewable energy are the main components, working from a holistic design is principle to achieving a net zero or often called a zero energy home. This is accomplished by working with the site, the climate, and taking advantage of renewable energy sources. This is why net-zero homes are typically newly built, not retrofitted. Although building materials and systems are extremely important to achieving zero energy, beginning with a smart design can be paramount to a successful outcome.
Many homes begin with the passive design model. Passive design utilizes the climate and surroundings of a home to ensure that the energy needs are very limited. For example, a home may be designed with awnings that shade the high sun in the summer helping to reduce energy required for cooling and at the same time using solar for natural day-light heating and air flow for cooling can greatly reduce the need for systems to achieve a comfortable home climate.
Craftsman Goes Net Zero In Dcs Chevy Chase Lists For $29 Million
A previous version of this story stated the house has been certified by the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility, the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and the U.S. Energy Department as net zero. It is expected to be certified in the next few weeks.
Like a lot of people who come to Washington, Ernie Sota has a cause.
I like to say people come to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate, he said. I thought it would be a good place to demonstrate net zero is achievable with this type of product, the larger, upper-scale home.
The Pittsburgh-based builder-developer took a 1917 Craftsman-style house in D.C.s Chevy Chase neighborhood and turned it into not only a net-zero but also an Indoor airPlus home.
Sota knows these environmental and energy-savings designations can be confusing. Energy Star, passive house, Indoor airPlus, these are still relatively new terms for people, he said. Im sure a lot of readers, when they hear Energy Star, they think of a refrigerator.
Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region
As more people become concerned about climate change, they are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. And while buying electric vehicles and eating less meat is good for the planet, it might be time to look closer to home.
Im always prone to be optimistic about the quality of older buildings, Sota said. I dont like to throw things away.
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Series B Home By Acre Designs
If youâre into outdoor spaces, this might be the house for you.
The Series B home by Acre Designs features large windows, sliding glass walls, 4 bedrooms, and a wraparound porch.
From a technical point of view, itâs built with structural insulated panels , which are pre-built walls made of an insulating foam core sandwiched between layers of oriented strand board. SIP panels fit together like LEGO blocks, speeding up construction time considerably. And because theyâre built in a factory, the quality of construction tends to be much more consistent compared to walls built onsite.
The house also features an ERV ventilation system, a standing seam roof, and can be ordered with a solar array ranging in size from 5 to 10 kW, depending on your energy needs. Series B net zero home by Acre Designs
Affordable Prefab Eco Homes Created With Experience
Écohabitation, Quebecs most respected sustainable building resource, has brought together and trained local and experienced building professionals to develop a range of beautiful and durable Canadian built, LEED & Net Zero ready, high-performance prefab home kits ideal for Quebec, but with new areas and ranges under development – Learn more about these eco homes here:
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The Oaks Zero Energy Community
This is an example of not just one home thatâs net zero, but an entire neighborhood thatâs been designed ground-up to produce as much energy as it uses.
The Oaks Zero Energy Community built by Green Hammer is a senior living community in Portland consisting of 12 homes that have been designed to be net zero. At the roofline, you can just see the edge of the photovoltaic array mounted on the standing seam roof.
These homes have been designed for healthy living and feature energy-efficient ventilation and accessible design with seniors in mind. The Oaks Zero Energy Community by Green Hammer
As A Certified Passive House The Farmstead Is A Forward
DESIGN CHALLENGE. A blend of features were carefully balanced to develop a final design that has an efficient footprint, meets the Passive House Standard , and takes the form of a traditional farmhouse with some modern twists both inside and out. Durability was also a top client priority this influenced a lot of the exterior design and detailing.
SITE AND SURROUNDINGS. This 200 year old, 100-acre farmstead is predominately held under conservation restriction by the Upper Valley Land Trust. While the home sits in a field, it was sited behind a rise in the terrain that plays host to several fruit trees.
CLIENT REQUIREMENTS. The exterior form complements the nature of the Colonial era site and the town history, with gabled roof lines. The exterior detailing the siding, trim and steel decks give the traditional form a modern twist. A progressive, contemporary look completes the interior, offering a clean, fresh modern feel.
The client requested a structure on the south side of the house that would permit vegetation to grow and could double as summertime shading. In the walk-out basement, a freezer door provides access to a root cellar for energy-free food storage.
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Costs Per Square Foot Can Be Complicated
New home costs in Vermont may range widely from a bit less than $300 to $400 or even higher a square foot for new home construction, with porches, decks, garages, basements incrementally less in cost. Note with the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis and supply-chain issues, costs may be much higher. That means a three-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath custom home 1,500 to 2,000 square feet in size may cost approximately $450,000 to $600,000 or higher nic cost variables like land clearing, driveways, wells, septic systems, electrical, renewable energy systems, furniture, and fittings.
Final costs may well run closer to $600,000 to $800,000 or more but that also depends on the Ten Factors and your project delivery approach. Including those variables may result in you needing to budget an extra 15-40% or more, especially at the earlier stages, but less so at the later ones.
And to be clear, these do not include the cost of your property another variable to add in. While the costs for a new custom home may be considerable, hopefully, the value and result will yield a lifetime of enjoyment. With all that said, how do you maximize this considerable once-in-a-lifetime investment? You hire professionals to help you with creative services, figure out the optimum project delivery approaches, and as required assemble a good team to bring your vision to life.
Net Zero By Lord Contractors
Lord Contractors is a Pennsylvania builder that specializes in net zero homes that are built onsite in the traditional way, but also prefabricated homes that are built in a factory and then assembled onsite.
The mention of prefabricated homes might bring to mind low cost mobile homes, but many net zero home builders choose to build their homes this way. Why? Constructing the main structure of a home indoors has many advantages. Itâs climate controlled, which makes it easier on the builders. But also having a factory-type setup makes it a lot easier to do quality control and do construction with the kind of tight tolerances that are required in net zero building.
In this beauiful home, you can see net zero details such as a solar hot water collector and carefully sized window overhangs that are typical of passive solar design. Net zero home by Lord Contractors
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