Here is the third post in a series that looks at sustainability and the city of tomorrow. A number of developers have contacted me through Active Rain. They are thinking about the future-the value of an eco-community, the way this comes together. They are asking about what this means in terms of energy and resource efficiency.
Energy and Resource Efficiency
Recently, we visited a new green-built home that represents the spirit of energy and resource efficiency. This home, on a city lot subdivided in the early 1900's, is part of a sustainable community here in Asheville, NC. Mature trees line the street in the neighborhood providing much appreciated shade. Neighbors walk to the market where locally-grown food is selected and toted home.
Resource Efficiency: As you approach this home you notice a rain barrel strategically placed to the side. It is there to direct water towards the yard. Here you see native landscaping. The lot was planted with only drought resistant landscaping, so the barrel is a nice benefit, but not a necessity.
Energy Efficiency: Because the builder elected to save the trees, (see photo) the major source of electricity for the home is the grid. The south side of the house is shaded by a large spruce tree, so passive solar heat is not a major factor in an otherwise super eco-friendly home.
The home is built with 2x6 construction using EnergyStar® framing techniques. This allowed the builder to insulate the walls with R-19 formaldehyde-free fiberglass insulation. Both the bands between the floors, where there is a good chance for heat loss, and the roof deck were insulated with Iconene foam insulation. The home is heated with an EnergyStar® rated heat pump utilizing a fresh air intake.
While this may not be an example of net zero building (I'll cover that in another post) it does give a clue as to the standard we can look for in the city of tomorrow.
Stay tuned...Up next is a post on sustainability.
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