ABC Green Home 2.0 Begins Construction

The state of California decided several years ago that all newly constructed homes in the state had to be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by the year 2020. In order to demonstrate best practices in sustainable home design and construction, Green Home Builder magazine partnered with Southern California Edison to develop the original and multiple award-winning High Performance LEED Platinum ABC Green Home at the Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The ZNE home was rated by six different agencies to their highest standards.

The team decided to change up the design for ABC 2.0. Manny Gonzalez from the KTGY Group designed a wonderful multi-generational two-story on 2,400 square feet. Habitat for Humanity Pomona Valley Affiliate signed on as our ABC 2.0 builder and secured us a lot for the project from the City of Walnut, Calif. Once again our design team got to work and over 40 of our advertisers came forward to supply materials for the build.

The Walnut site required tremendous remediation. Essentially comprised of clay soil and a 14 percent grade, it was a homebuilder’s nightmare. It needed it to be very flat and wheel chair accessible as well. The design team spent ages figuring out how to make it work. There was only one solution: the dirt had to come off, all 2,600 cubic yards of it. Fortunately, Jeff Mezger and his team at KB Home who needed dirt for a project nearby graciously came and got ours, placing it at the bottom of a very big hole.

We received LEED credit at least for recycling the soil. After the dirt was removed, we got into rough grading. We kept digging and finally, at 16 feet we found the bedrock. I was just praying the backhoes did not dig up a dinosaur skeleton, a mummified wooly mammoth, or an old burial ground — perhaps even some spent nuclear fuel rods. We were careful to avoid the seven toed sloth and the bearded, tri-lingual gnatcatcher, too.
With the pad finally certified by the city, the forms were made and the trenching began. Special thanks to Jeff Landon and his team at Lubrizol , Randy Richards at Reliable Lumber, along with Landon Boucher from Mitek/ISP/Hardy Frames. Bret Houck and the tall men from Stego have been a huge help, as always, and brought their latest bright yellow and unmistakable vapor barrier to the project.

We were finally ready for our 4,500 psi post tension slab pour, which I am pleased to report, went off without a hitch, although no one has seen John Morton from SoCal Edison since…

The house will look just like any other well built home. However, there are unique features and attributes that lie within. Beginning with framing: using lumber supplied by Reliable Lumber and components from USP, Hardy Frames and the Mitek Saphire software system to facilitate the roof truss design and engineering by Cal Truss, the home uses two by six studs, 24 inches on center and incorporates open cell spray foam insulation from Icynene, inside the stud bays, along with Atlas EPS rigid foam on the exterior. Lubrizol supplied the CPVC plumbing pipe inside the home and also their BlazeMaster fire sprinkler system. For more information on our partners visit the corresponding tab.

Upon completion, the home will remain open for a period as a model to demonstrate best practices in high performance home design and construction. Afterwards, it will be provided by Habitat Pomona Valley to a combat a disabled U.S Veteran family as their unique home, with electrical circuit monitoring by SoCal Edison to see how the home is working under load. We will move ahead with ABC 3.0 and do it all again; this time with Danielian Associates at the helm of the design team.

To visit the ABC 2.0 home online go to the website at

If you are interested in becoming a partner on ABC 3.0 please contact the publisher of Green Home Builder magazine, Nick Slevin at

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