New Town Builders, the company that uses beetle-killed pine for their framing, opened this net-zero energy home with an announcement yesterday. The company is the first in the area to offer a zero-energy package as a regular, additional option. In other words, if a buyer wants it, the buyer can get a home that generates as much energy as it uses over the course of a year for the right price — in this case, $26,900.
This home, located at 8146 E. 35th Ave. in Denver, achieved a zero HERS score with solar panels, super insulation, and a proprietary double-stud wall. As you can see, the wall has a half-inch gap and 24 inches between the studs to reduce thermal bridging. External walls have a thin layer of spray foam and the rest of the cavity is filled with blown-in cellulose.
During construction, New Town Builders checked the ducts for tightness to ensure that air reaches its destination with 7% or less loss. Also, the home has a high efficiency HVAC system, energy efficient windows, Energy Star appliances, 100% CFL and LED lighting, a tankless water heater, and a continuous whole house energy recovery exhaust fan.
The model home is priced at $424,000, which includes a 9.9 kW solar array. Green elements add about $100 to the mortgage cost, says New Town Builders, but the extra cost is eaten up by $200 in net savings per month due to having having no energy bill.
Credits: New Town Builders.