Making Zero Energy Homes a Mainstream Option
Addison Homes is committed to making zero energy a mainstream option, modeling a vision of sustainable construction that’s attractive, affordable and attainable for homeowners. Its 2,700-square-foot InVision Zero SC is not only the first zero-energy home in Greenville, S.C., it is also the first area’s first Active House.
Active House is an international alliance of manufacturers, designers and nonprofits started in Denmark around 2007. The international Active House Alliance emphasizes comfort, environment and energy. The standard gives importance to optimal natural daylighting (including interior rooms), as well as indoor air quality and resource efficiency.
Builder Todd Usher says the light, bright interiors are key to the appeal of the InVision Zero house, which was built as a model home in the company’s Trailside development. A dozen VELUX skylights and windows, including VELUX tubular SUN TUNNEL skylights, flood the home with natural light without increasing energy use. There is little need to turn interior lights on during the day.
Usher says, “While there’s always been a niche for extreme efficiency, we envision broadening this market by building attainable, sustainable homes designed to expand the power of zero,” says Usher. “An Active House [also] fosters wellness.” Benefits of a healthy home include increased concentration and learning, improved sleep quality, reduced allergy symptoms and lowered risk of poor health. To achieve indoor air quality, the home features a Lennox PureAir purification system and no- and low-VOC paints and finishes.
The house also meets relevant International Code Council (ICC) codes, something that helps appraisers rate its green value here in the U.S.
Without solar power, Usher says, the InVision Zero home’s HERS score would be in the 40s. With the 8.2-kW DOW POWERHOUSE solar shingle PV system, its HERS score is 0.