Taz Loomans

Salt Lake City's New Zero Home is One of the Most Energy-Efficient Houses in the US

by , 08/06/13

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The Zero Home uses a combination of new construction materials, improved building practices and high-tech infrastructure to achieve remarkable energy efficiency. By using 2×6 studs 24 inches on center instead of 2×4 studs 16 inches on center, the builders made it easier to add foam and fiber insulation to the exterior walls. An extra bead of sealant where each framing member meets provides an incredible level of air-tightness. Plus, the home’s tankless water heaters, high-efficiency HVAC system, double-pane windows filled with argon gas, and Energy Star appliances all help to keep energy demand so low (around 10 kilowatts) that the home can be powered by its 40 roof-mounted solar panels. Because the house is so energy-efficient, the HVAC system runs on stand-by most of the time and kicks on only four or five days out of the dear.

Vivint’s home control system plays a big part in the energy-efficient operation of the house. The home comes equipped with an all-new touchscreen control panel that includes real-time energy analytics. The homeowner can see just how much energy the house is generating and consuming at any given time. By combining the home security and home control systems, Vivint was able to achieve a whole new level of energy monitoring for the homeowner. For example, since the thermostat is tied into the security system, sensors on the doors and windows can send the homeowner a text message if someone left a door or window open, which are not only security threats, but waste energy as well.

The Zero Home is the first to be certified by the International Code Council as net zero in Climate Zone 5. Climate Zone 5 covers Utah and all the states that experience warm summers and cold winters. It also has earned a Home Efficiency Rating System (HERS) rating of zero. The home as a few other certifications under its belt, including US Department of Energy Challenge Home, EPA Indoor Air Plus Home and EPA Energy Star Home.

+ Garbett Homes

+ Vivint

Via TechHive

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2 Comments

  1. Chris Lee August 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Something is a little off Regarding the construction cost of this home. Techive is listing the sqft as 4,300. A sales price of $400,00 would put the construction and land cost plus profit at $93/sqft. This would be around $10-$30 less than a California production home meeting similar efficiency standards. This is not unimaginable but I think there something missing.
    The most interesting part of this story is how they kept the price down. It sounds as if thier use of advanced framing techniques lead to material reduction and increased energy efficiency thus lowering their cost. If that is the case then I would really like to her that story.

  2. kevin9 kevin9 August 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Too bad more houses dont have some of these energy saving features! But the house can only do so many green actions to save energy- the rest is up to the inhabitants. Most people wont receive a text message if they left the window open, but they (and people who live in these types of houses) can maintain a compost pile, ride their bikes instead of driving, and recycling.

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