An Affordable, Net-Zero Design Comes to Life

The ABC Green Home series demonstrates that it is possible to design and build Affordable, Buildable, and Certified healthy homes, that are right-sized and attainable for the average American homebuyer

By Sergio Flores

The third installment of the ABC Green Home series, the ABC Green Home 3.0, kicked off in Fullerton, Calif. Despite the abnormally hot spring weather for Southern California, many gathered around the ground site of what will soon become a cluster of three energy-efficient – one also multi-generational – Net-Zero homes, designed by Danielian Associates, built by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, developed by Peninsula Publishing, and with plentiful materials donated by benevolent manufacturers.

Presenting Sponsor SoCal Gas, Development Partner Southern California Edison, the design team and product partners are all active members of the Building Industry Association of Orange County(BIAOC) and the National Association of Home Builders(NAHB), and all are deeply committed to sustainable and energy efficient home building. BIAOC Executive Director Mike Balsamo remarked at the groundbreaking that “our members are bound by law to build Net-Zero homes by 2020 and The ABC Green Home Project gives voice to their commitment to sustainable home building here in California.”

The ABC Green Home 3.0 located in Fullerton, Calif. was designed by Danielian Associates, built by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, developed by Peninsula Publishing, and aided through the building process by plentiful materials and time donated by benevolent
manufacturers and volunteers.

ABC Green Home 3.0 Developer Nick Slevin, publisher of Green Home Builder magazine, thanked the advertisers who had committed their building materials to the ABC Green Home project and the design team members who have worked so hard (and pro-bono) to provide their architectural and engineering services to the project. “We recognize our partners’ commitments to the goals of The ABC Green Home Project and their desire to promote sustainable and high-performance homebuilding design, technology, and construction, while also benefiting hard working U.S. Veteran families”, Slevin went on to thank the Fullerton city council and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County for their participation and contributions.

California, by law, will be required to build Net-Zero homes by 2020. The ABC Green Home Project gives voice to their commitment to sustainable home building here in California.

Sharon Ellis touched on the veteran facet also, sharing how Habitat partners with the families selected to eventually own the homes. Habitat for Humanity supports them with classes in finance management to prepare them for the income-based mortgage that comes with the home. For Sharon, this is what really makes it all worth it in the end: the look on the family’s faces when they can say, “We built our home.”

President and CEO of Gouvis Engineering Saaed Bekam is proud to lend his services to this altruistic project. For Gouvis this project encompasses two great things: conservation of the environment and support for our veterans. “We love what we do and we care about the environment and what this project means for veterans. It is something that we can do to pay society and veterans back, for those who fight for our freedom.” Gouvis Engineering, who provided the structural engineering for the first two homes, is proud to return as a contributor. “We’re happy this is our third project. Each has been a success.”

ABC Green Home 3.0 features a three-piece cluster of homes that are certified Net-Zero, LEED, WaterSense, Build It Green, ENERGY STAR®, and Builder Challenge. One of the homes is multi-generational, as well.

All these units are Net-Zero, LEED, Water Sense, Build It Green, ENERGY STAR® and Builder Challenge Certified. They are also designed to be built at $75 per square foot, with an eye to affordability. They are buildable by any home building company and are designed to be simple and elegant, employing the principles of Universal Design: using wider doorways with access for wheelchairs, lowered workstations and sinks in master baths, zero-threshold showers in the multi-gen bathroom suites, mid-wall plugs and switches, discreet night lights for kids and adults alike, and plenty of storage spaces in pantries and laundry rooms for modern families who purchase in bulk.

The project series promotes sustainable and high performance homebuilding design, technology, and construction, while also benefiting hard working U.S. Veteran families.

The object of this exercise is to demonstrate that it is possible to design and build Affordable, Buildable, Certified green homes, that are right-sized and attainable by the average American homebuyer. With a design team assembled of industry heavyweights who have donated their time to the project and advertisers who participated by donating their materials and coordination efforts to the projects in exchange for a little extra publicity and the ability to participate in a demonstration home project that gives something back to the community, Homebuilder partner Habitat For Humanity of Orange County is seeking out U.S. Veteran families to whom they would like to sell these wonderful, affordably-priced homes after they have shared their technology and their construction secrets with the building industry and the home buying public.

Moving forward, Peninsula Publishing is getting ready to start on the next home in the project, The ABC Green Home 4.0.  The team will transform a careworn A-frame 3-bed, 1-bath 1946 built mountain home in Crestline, Calif. into a green and efficient family home, continuing our tradition of exceeding strict California building codes in the process.

If you would like to participate, please get in contact with the publisher, Nick Slevin, at nslevin@penpubinc.com. You can watch the homes being built in real time via the e-Cam’s on each job site in the project and discover more about The ABC Green Home Project at www.abcgreenhome.com.