Green Home of the year Awards
Operation, Maintenance, and Homeowner Education Award
About this home
Having the appearance, style, and detailing of a turn-of-the-century grand lodge style home, this home’s construction and operating systems are truly cutting-edge 21st century. Our quality construction and design reputation drew the homeowners to our design/build firm. As an officer for a local power company, the owner wanted to lead by example and asked us to build a dream home with energy efficiency and green building practices as a core value in the construction, operation, and maintenance of the home.
As our standard, during construction we practice green-building techniques not only for the overall quality and comfort of the structure but for the long-term maintenance and operation of the home and its overall impact on the community. With this home we were able to go well above industry standards with superior insulation R-values in the roof and walls (min. R-60/26), Energy Star–rated doors and windows, blow test leakage results one-third of the minimum required, high-efficiency mechanical systems, and Energy Star appliances. The home’s most impressive feature is the solar 5 kW photovoltaic system that powers this energy-efficient home and also has the ability to sell back power, thus turning back the electrical meter. Not only is this comfortable and enjoyable home energy efficient to operate, but the owners are also able to take advantage of several federal and state tax incentives and local rebates.
Lot Design, Preparation, Development, and Environmental Responsibility
In addition to several environmental precautions overseen by our on-site project manager, one long-term environmentally responsible feature of this home is its lack of a septic leach field. All storm and waste water is gravity-fed toward the cul-de-sac and through a series of lifts stations is directed to a MBR treatment plan that produces class A-1 water. The water is used as supplemental irrigation for the golf course overlooking this home.
Use of Materials and Resource Efficiency
Stone throughout the interior and exterior of this home was reclaimed from a farm home in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Truss and lumber packages were designed to building dimensions to reduce waste. Any excess materials were stored for reuse, in turn reducing costs associated with additional material, delivery, and waste removal.
A 5 kW photovoltaic system was installed to provide power for the home, and excess power is sold back to the local power company. The sauna is powered exclusively through solar. Radiant heat is provided with the home’s 98 percent efficiency boiler, and the home has a 90 percent efficiency furnace and 96 percent efficiency AC. All power-consuming appliances are Energy Star certified. The home has a five-star confirmed rating of HERS 42 and is a Build Green New Mexico Gold-level home.
All water-consuming appliances—dishwashers, clothes washers, etc., are Energy Star certified. Faucets are provided with aerators, and showers are rated low flow. The low-water-use landscaping design incorporates bubblers and rain barrels for supplemental landscaping water.
Indoor Environmental Quality
The home has a staged air conditioning system with all ductwork sealed. The bedrooms contain ceiling fans. The home’s mechanical and HVAC systems are located in an isolated mechanical room in the garage. Low-VOC paints and sealers were used throughout the home. Flooring is predominantly composed of natural materials.
Operation, Maintenance, and Homeowner Education
This house had homeowner involvement in all stages of design and construction. In conjunction with subcontractors and suppliers, the operation of photovoltaics, the mechanical system, and appliances were demonstrated to homeowners during design and/or installation. At a minimum, there were weekly walkthroughs with the homeowners, and upon the home’s completion all manuals, interior design color sheets, further green living tips, and forms for tax credits and rebates were provided to the homeowner.
Custom cabinetry and doors were all manufactured locally, and heavy timber trusses were built on site. Low-VOC paints and sealers were used throughout. Care was taken toward material efficiency for minimal waste, lessening fuel usage for delivery and waste removal.