Colleyville Eco House on NAHB Tour Showcases Green
More than 1,200 people toured the 4,800-square-foot Colleyville Eco House the first weekend it was open for public tours early this month, demonstrating the growing allure of green building even in a down market.
The Colleyville Eco House on the upcoming Tour of Green Homes features reclaimed oak floors, trim and cabinets made from certified wood and Energy Star-rated appliances.
“We had to hire a cop and get a shuttle bus” to handle the crowds, said Texas builder Chris Miles.
The home will be featured in the Tour of Green Homes on May 8 during the NAHB National Green Building Conference in Dallas.
Miles’ company, GreenCraft Builders LLC, built the home with the help of a number of green vendor partners and is keeping it open for tours this spring until its owners move in.
The luxury home showcases a number of green products and technologies — some cutting-edge, some becoming more mainstream.
The home is sited on a one-acre lot previously occupied by a 3,500-square-foot home that was disassembled. Eighty percent of the old home was recycled, and its windows, cabinets, air conditioning units and other appliances and fixtures were donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Oriented to take advantage of daylighting while protecting the occupants from the hot Texas sun, the home’s windows are concentrated on the south side, there are plenty of overhangs and few windows are on its north and west.
Advanced framing techniques were used to construct the house, and it was sealed with foam insulation throughout — including a sealed, unvented attic where the temperature stays within five degrees of the rest of the house.
Miles installed a geothermal heat pump after digging six wells, each about 300 feet deep. Though expensive, the innovative system is worth considering for larger homes such as the Eco House, he said, whose monthly heating and air conditioning bills are expected to be reduced to $150 to $200, down from $600 to $700 for a more traditional HVAC system.
The system also produces enough hot water for the kitchen. Hot water for bathroom showers and sinks is provided by tankless water heaters that also heat the floor in the master bathroom.
Water efficiency features include low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets. The appliances are all Energy Star-rated and the light bulbs are all compact fluorescents. Fourteen photovoltaic panels on the roof generate three kilowatts of electric power.
The home’s open floor plan encourages better air circulation; a tower in the master bedroom with motorized windows helps move stale air up and out of the home. The home also includes a storm room.
Really wowing consumers are features like the home’s reclaimed hardwood floors and recycled glass kitchen and bathroom counters, Miles said. Even though the interior of the home was painted just before the tours began, visitors also comment that it lacks the customary “new home smell,” Miles said, because of the use of low- and no-VOC paint.
What really has impressed Miles is the home’s performance. “If the house performs the way I want it to, I will be a happy camper,” he said just before an inspection by representatives of the Department of Energy’s Building America program.
The home is certified to the Green Built North Texas program, the United States Green Building Council’s LEED-H rating system and NAHBGreen, the NAHB National Green Building Program. The home was scored at the Gold level to both the NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines — from which it earned its NAHBGreen certification — and the National Green Building Standard, which was unavailable for certification purposes when the home was finished.
“We’re really trying to educate people,” said Miles, “especially about the certifications. NAHBGreen is a fairly new program here.”
For information and to register for the May 8-10 NAHB National Green Building Conference, click here. Advance registration closes on April 10.
In addition to the Tour of Green Homes, other highlights of the 11th annual event include the NAHB National Green Building Awards with guest speaker T. Boone Pickens, two days of seminars and educational sessions and a green trade show with more than 80 exhibitors.
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.
‘National Green Building Standard’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“The National Green Building Standard,” available through BuilderBooks.com, provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into multifamily and single-family new home construction, home remodeling and additions and site development.
The standard covers lot design, resource, energy and water efficiency; indoor environment quality; and owner education.
Currently the first and only ANSI-approved green building rating system, the National Green Building Standard is the benchmark for green homes.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here.
The Future of Residential Construction Is Green
The Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective and affordable options.
Earning the CGP demonstrates to clients and peers your commitment to the best and latest in green building practices and techniques. More than 1,000 people have earned the CGPdesignation to date.
For more information, visit www.nahb.org/CGPinfo.
Attend the National Green Building Conference in Dallas
Attend the 2009 National Green Building Conference in Dallas on May 10-13 to learn more about the critical paths to green building, and to participate in interactive sessions and be part of the driving force for the green building and remodeling markets.
For more information and to sign up to be notified when registration opens, visit www.nahb.org/GreenBuildingConference.
‘Building Greener Neighborhoods’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“Building Greener Neighborhoods,” available through Digital Delivery at BuilderBooks.com, shows those involved in building new communities the advantages and rewards of saving, planting and transplanting more trees in their developments.
The examples are drawn from decades of experience of land developers, home builders and urban foresters.
To download this publication in a PDF format, click here, or call 800-223-2665.
‘Profit from Building Green’ Available at BuilderBooks.com
“Profit from Building Green — Award-Winning Tips to Build Energy Efficient Homes,” available through BuilderBooks.com, showcases what energy conscious award-winning builders are doing, provides innovative energy-efficient features and covers successful techniques for building this niche market.
To view or purchase this publication online, click here, or call 800-223-2665.