3 Green Projects Showcase Key Home Building Strategies
One of many green offerings during the recent International Builders' Show (IBS) was the opportunity to participate in a Green Home Tour, showcasing energy-efficient strategies, high-performance features and green construction practices being used in the desert climate of Las Vegas.
"The green home tour was a great opportunity to see green solutions implemented into multiple facets of construction," shared Dylan Burford, a recipient of the inaugural NAHB Sustainability and Green IBS Scholarship. "We were able to see green solutions for production-built homes, multifamily housing, and a 10,000-square-foot custom home. The similarities, as well as the differences between these, was something everyone should take the time to explore."
Local NAR Green Realtor Annette Bubak, who has promoted green and sustainable building in the Las Vegas area for more than two decades, set the stage for the two single-family sites, which included the following key features:
- The Cortona neighborhood by Lennar featured lines of homes outfitted with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. "These panels are a standard feature, which lower the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) scores from the mid-50s to the mid-30s," said Dennis Helblig of Sunstreet. "Our system on these homes helps them be about 65% more energy efficient than a standard new home."
- Rooftop solar PV panels — as well as whole-house automation, an electric vehicle charging station and an energy storage system — were also strategies incorporated into Growth Luxury Homes' projects in the Augusta Canyon area of Southern Highlands. "We designed these homes to meet the DOE Zero Energy Ready Program; they were built to be highly energy efficient and able to have all of the homes’ annual energy consumption offset by a renewable energy source, such as rooftop solar," shared Steve Escalante of Growth Holdings.
The tour also featured Green Leaf Lotus, a 295-unit luxury apartment complex built on an underutilized previously developed site. Josh Hanson of US-EcoLogic, Inc., who served as a green building consultant for the project, discussed the unique challenges of green building in the multifamily market and the design planning that went into this project in order to pursue certification. "One of many strategies was the incorporation of hydronic heating as part of the HVAC systems. Circulating the water lines through the HVAC system allows the water heater to provide heating in the colder months, helping make efficient use of technology, and reducing the energy use and utility costs across the apartment community," Hanson noted.
The Green Home Tour for IBS 2021 in Orlando is currently in the planning stages. Sign up when you register for the show so you don’t miss this opportunity — this year's tour sold out.
For more details about NAHB's sustainable and green building initiatives, visit nahb.org. To stay current on high-performance residential building, follow NAHB's Sustainability and Green Building team on Twitter.