By NICK SLEVIN
The original Net-Zero, LEED ABC Green Home was built at the Great park in Irvine, Calif. in 2012 with the simple goal of demonstrating that it is possible to develop affordable, entry-level single family homes well beyond current building code specifications, using products readily available from any builder’s existing supply chain. To prove this, we pulled together the support of two big utilities, SoCalGas and SoCal Edison, and created a design team, while enlisting the support of our advertisers who provided their materials and expertise. The ABC 1.0 home went on to win the Gold Nugget and So Cal Awards for Green Home Design Excellence and garnered significant TV and press coverage everywhere, including Chinese TV and our own native network and cable TV coverage: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=bVg_Z3VU3T4. LEED Platinum and Net-Zero had been achieved. We even created an internship for Southern California’s Building Industry Technical Academy (BITA) ROP area school kids to participate in the build, job shadowing our trades during construction.
We continued to evolve the ABC Green Home brand, with different design team participants and additional advertisers providing their materials for different designs for ABC 2.0, ABC 3.0 and, now, ABC 4.0 which begins construction in January. Along the way we blended in new ideas, and new technologies. We have tried different materials and construction methodologies to achieve the Net-Zero energy goals of each home.
This project has forced our team to focus on the energy-efficient side of home building. We realized early on we could not expect to achieve Net-Zero without also paying close attention to build quality, engineering and architecture. The challenge was well met and, HERS ratings and blower door tests aside, the team feels they really understand the nuts and bolts of fine homebuilding much better than we did when we began five years ago. The ABC Green Home Project really focuses our concentration on all of the details, not just the exterior walls, advanced framing, high performance walls and ceilings, and technology we install, but also understanding the way people live in their homes. The way the air moves inside a home; the layout of each room; how the materials are specified; how the ventilation and HVAC contribute to the indoor air quality and health and wellness of the home owners. Jillian Pritchard Cooke from Wellness Within Your Walls and DES-SYN joined our design team as our talented interior designer and indoor air quality prophet. What an addition she and her terrific team have turned out to be.
The next home in the project is ABC 4.0, a luxury mountain home in the resort town of Crestline in the San Bernardino ski area mountains of Southern California. With the greening of the nation’s building codes being led by our home state and Net-Zero code on the near horizon in California starting in January 2020, building our demonstration homes in California makes great sense. Building at a higher altitude of 6,500 feet requires engineering for cold weather, snow loads on roofs, moisture interaction, swings in air temperature from 30 to 80 degrees in a single day.
Some of the features of ABC 4.0 include: a comparatively small 4.3KW solar array with a battery backup system; an unventilated air conditioned and heated attic with built-in storage; a heated and air conditioned basement with cold storage and a wine cellar; a two-car garage with built-in storage, with entertainment system and TV; a mud room, plus a separate utility room; an open plan first floor with a fireplace; comfortable living room and chef’s designer kitchen, upscale appliances, cabinets and countertops package; “We continue to evolve the ABC Green Home brand with different design team participants and additional advertisers supplying their materials for different Net-Zero designs.” —Nick Slevin, Project Developer 48 GREEN HOME BUILDER Novembe r /De c embe r 2 0 17 Original (from ftp) NEW Modify logo http://energy-efficient windows and sliding patio door. Custom deck and outdoor kitchen area; private gated entrance with additional forecourt parking; Craftsman elevation with stone accents and custom siding and trim detail; stacked retaining walls, fencing, and EPA spec irrigation system. Radiant barrier subfloor heating is also featured.
ABC Green Home 4.0 will be certified by eight separate agencies. The job site is open by appointment to building teams wishing to experience firsthand design and construction to Net-Zero specifications. We will be coordinating framing tours of the project. We will also be hosting the catered grand opening and showcasing the suppliers and their building materials, the design team and the start of the show, ABC Green Home 4.0, after which the home will be used as a model home for several weeks to demonstrate best practices to the building industry trades and the home buying public. Interested parties can follow the build live on the project’s website via the onsite security web cams at www.abcgreenhome.com. If you are interested in participating in the build please reach out to me at the email address below.
Nick Slevin is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief for Green Home Builder magazine and project developer for The ABC Green Homes. He may be reached at email@example.com.