By Burke Boydell
When it comes to outstanding achievement in sustainability for new residential developments, the ABC Green Home Project is making waves as the leader in luxury home design and construction by combining high-class lifestyles with advanced sustainable practices. The latest home in the ongoing project, ABC Green Home 4.0, is the pinnacle of sustainable living and sets the standard for residential construction in the United States.
Constructed in late 2019 in Crestline, CA, the nearly 4,500 square foot single family home was built with one thing in mind: showing the world how we can utilize smart design and construction practices to improve the built environment, increase our level of comfort, and protect the planet, all at the same time. The 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home was designed from the very beginning with the intent of surpassing California’s 2016 Energy Code requirements (the most stringent in the country) by at least 25 percent. However, through early consultation and advanced energy modeling from a CABEC Certified Energy Analyst (CEA), the home managed to exceed these expectations by instead surpassing the 2019 California Energy Code by 37% in its Building Energy Design Rating (EDR). Additionally, the high-capacity renewable energy systems and accompanying photovoltaic batteries on the project brought the home into the net positive range by bringing the Total EDR to -2.7, demonstrating that the building’s extremely efficient features will greatly benefit the occupant by producing more energy than they would ever be anticipated to spend in a given year according to the most stringent energy standards in the country. Built within one of the coldest climates in California, the home was constructed with energy efficient framing techniques, ideal insulation materials, and high performing HVAC and domestic hot water systems to ensure total comfort and minimal utility costs throughout even the most extreme conditions. The space heating of the home was a critical aspect given the location, so the heat pump system is supplemented with a dedicated gas-fired boiler to more quickly heat the space while using less energy overall. On top of this, a nearly 20 kWh capacity photovoltaic battery system was installed for storing excess power for the building, allowing for up to 24 hours of continuous use in the event of a blackout.
In an effort to maintain familiarity for the homeowner and simultaneously lower emissions from fossil fuels, the home contains ENERGY STAR gas-fired appliances in the range, dryer, and tankless water heater which provide fast and affordable heating to these portions of the home (in addition to the aforementioned combination boiler and replaces). Given the region’s extremely cold temperatures, the ABC Green Home 4.0 is smartly designed to maximize performance speci c to its climate conditions.
The 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom home was designed from the very beginning with the intent of surpassing California’s Energy Code requirements, the most stringent in the country.
If the energy ef cient design wasn’t enough, the home is out tted with state-of-the-art technology in its security systems, appliances, fenestration shading, replaces, and much more. Complete with fully remote access to the building’s myriad features, the homeowner will be in total control of each component of the building’s systems, granting an unprecedented view into the way all future homeowners will eventually live happily, safely, and sustainably, all from the touch of a button.
For Nick Slevin, developer for the ABC Green Home Project and Editor-in-Chief for Builder Media, achieving the highest possible standard of green building excellence was (and continues to be) the highest priority for the ABC Green Home Project. Although this home is marketed for a luxury buyer, the vision of a sustainable living environment for all people is the ultimate dream, and the ABC Green Home 4.0 is the latest step towards the inevitable innovation of the residential sector as the bene ts continue to outshine the costs year after year.
Constructing a project of this nature demands consistent cooperation and a thorough understanding of not only California’s Building Standards but green building concepts in general. From the design to the installation, creating a project such as this takes a considerable collective effort from everyone involved in order to make sure nothing is missed. Careful planning, consistent observations, and third party testing and veri cations can harmonize to produce a true work of art when done correctly, and to that end, the project’s results speak for themselves.
With these high end energy efficiency features in mind, it was obvious to Nick and the team that the project would naturally fit into various well-recognized green building programs, some examples being LEED, EPA ENERGY STAR and Indoor Air Quality Plus, and more. As of this writing, the project is set to earn at least 7 prestigious green building certi cations on top of its 22 awards from around the United States. Nationally recognized by these organizations as a top of the line home, there is no doubt that the ABC Green Home 4.0 is a crowning achievement in sustainable living and will serve as a prime example of quality construction for years to come.
The ABC Green Home Project doesn’t stop there, though. In the coming years, ABC Green Home 5.0 will be developed with the goal of outperforming all previous works by a considerable margin. It may seem difficult to fathom given the current standards, but as we continually push the boundaries of human ingenuity, we nd that our capabilities are simply what we make of them. By further closing the cycle between our evolution and the ecosystem we thrive in, the possibilities are truly endless.