Can a Zero Energy Home really produce as much electricity as it consumes? It’s not only possible – it’s practical! Take a look.
Addison Homes is committed to making Zero Energy a mainstream choice. We’re modeling a vision of sustainable construction that’s beautiful, affordable and attainable for homeowners right here in Upstate South Carolina through a process built upon solid building science, and aimed at the future of homes here in Greenville County, SC.
Healthy, HighPerformance House Plans
Our Trailside model is Greenville’s first mainstream Zero Energy Home. In addition to maximized efficiency – achieved via the US Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home certification – this project incorporates Solar Shingles as a source of renewable energy designed to offset all or most of the home’s annual electrical usage.
Solar Shingles are a dual-functional roofing material that protects the home from the elements like any other roof AND produces solar electricity. The sun’s power is captured by the photovoltaic panels and fed into an inverter; the inverter converts DC energy into AC and distributes it into the home. If the solar energy created exceeds the amount consumed, the difference is fed back to the grid for an energy bill credit.
Getting a Look Inside
We were pleased to build this DOE Zero Energy Ready Home in the Trailside community in Greenville, SC. Our goal for this home was to design and build a home that uses zero net energy, and rates a Perfect Ten with today’s homeowners when it comes to curb appeal, health, and comfort.
With a solar electric (PV) system and energy efficient features, this house produces as much electricity as it consumes. Insulation that far surpasses the current building code requirements creates a comfortable indoor space, and an ultra-efficient HVAC system keeps the home comfortable with minimal energy use.
GreenSENSE™ labeled siding is durable and virtually maintenance-free, while low-E windows with double pane glass ensure greater overall energy efficiency. Meanwhile, low-VOC paint, hardwood floors, and whole house superior air filtration ensure healthier indoor air quality. This home also includes finishes most requested by today’s home buyers, like granite counters, classic craftsman crown molding, stylish lighting (with LEDs, of course) and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances.
Greenville’s First Mainstream Zero Energy Home
We aren’t just custom home builders in Greenville, SC—we’re also net zero home builders! Our Trailside model is Greenville’s first mainstream Zero Energy Home. It’s also the first house in the Southeast U.S. to achieve Active House certification, a European designation of optimal daylighting, indoor air quality, and resource efficiency. It is also ENERGY STAR®, Indoor airPLUS®, and WaterSense® certified. Perhaps most importantly, this home represents our vision of sustainable construction that’s attractive, affordable, and attainable for homeowners right here in the Upstate South Carolina region.
A Zero on the HERS Index, A Perfect Ten with Homeowners
Many consumers wonder if a conventionally-styled Zero Energy Home can really produce as much electricity as it consumes. Addison Homes built this project to prove it’s not only possible, it’s practical. How? By incorporating a variety of high-performance products and processes to maximize efficiency – to some 70% beyond code – then adding a photovoltaic system capable of generating enough renewable energy to meet the home’s remaining electrical needs.
The result is a number of “firsts:” it’s the first mainstream Zero Energy Home in Greenville, and it’s located in the first community in the United States where every house will meet the rigorous energy savings, comfort, health and durability requirements of the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home program. It’s also the first home in the Southeast to achieve Active House certification – a European designation of optimal daylighting, indoor air quality and resource efficiency. Other labels include Energy Star®, Indoor airPLUS® and WaterSense®.
This home’s exterior is simple and quaint, clad in GreenSENSE™-labeled siding that’s durable and virtually maintenance-free. Interior design is a study in neutrals — created with low-VOC paint on all walls and trim, GREENGUARD-certified hardwood flooring to ensure low VOC polyurethane, and carpeting created from recyclable nylon. Elements of universal design are built in throughout, including wide doorways, zero step garage entryway, and focused accessibility in the owner’s bath.
Addison Homes included the finishes most requested by today’s homebuyers: granite counters, classic craftsman crown molding, stylish lighting (with LEDs, of course) and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances.
But underneath this home’s charming élan, it’s all about high performance.
Construction efficiency was a priority. Advanced framing techniques were incorporated to conserve lumber and maximize insulation; using engineered lumber and trusses reduced jobsite debris. Recycled-content materials were utilized where possible.
A variety of next-generation insulation and sealants wrapped the home in a blanket of efficiency. Addison insulated walls and ceilings beyond code and spray foamed the roof to create conditioned space for the ultra-efficient HVAC system. All ductwork was installed and sealed per Energy Star and Zero Energy Ready Home requirements to provide a huge performance advantage.
Low-E windows utilizing double pane glass with two layers of low-e coating further augment efficiency. All plumbing fixtures meet EPA WaterSense® requirements for low flow/water conservation and an Energy Star®-qualified tankless water heater features a built-in re-circulation system.
To ensure indoor air quality, the construction process included a complete air sealing package and airtight drywall installation techniques. There’s fresh air intake on return with an air cycler control; all fresh air passes through a central MERV 16 carbon media filter.
To promote the healthiest indoor environment, Addison utilized low-VOC paints, finishes and construction products. Pest control was non-toxic as well. The home’s open ambiance and healthy atmosphere is enhanced via ample daylighting and natural ventilation through an abundance of skylights, sun tunnels and roof windows.
Addison Homes’ goal for this project is a home that scores Zero on the HERS Index and rates a Perfect Ten with today’s homeowners.