ABC Green Home 2.0 ready to break ground

 ABC Green Home 2.0 ready to break ground

Building on the success of the ABC Green Home 1.0, the next version of the green building demonstration home will be built and donated to a disabled veteran through Habitat for Humanity.

The ABC Green Home 2.0, to be built in Walnut, California, is a demonstration of the "Affordable, Buildable, Certified" approach to green building. The Gold Nugget award-winning ABC Green Home version 1.0, was a project of Green Home Builder magazine, Southern California Edison (SCE) and Habitat for Humanity in Irvine, California.

Upon completion, the home will be open to the building industry and the general public for six months in order to showcase the home's technologies and green products.

Since California is seeking to make net-zero energy use mandatory by 2020, the home and its sustainability template will show how to achieve net-zero now. SCE and other groups plan to use the home as a classroom to educate builders, architects, designers and others about energy efficient construction techniques.

The ABC Green Home 2.0is smart and sustainable. It demonstrates that a solar-powered, sustainable home can be built using available and recycled materials, such as Emser tile; countertops from Eco by Cosentino; smart technology like WiFi enabled thermostats from Honeywell and remote access door handles and locks from Schlage; energy efficient appliances like Goodman HVAC, hot water heating by AO Smith and hot water on-demand pumps from ACT Inc., at a cost that is competitive with conventional housing.

Implementing numerous green building practices, the ABC Green Home 2.0 will continue its high-performance themes brought to life by the original project and maintain the principles of being affordable, buildable and third-party certifiable.

"Home builders are looking for ways to compete for buyers in today's much changed U.S home building business. Buyers are seeking more efficient, healthier homes. High performance homes represent the intersection of opportunity and growing demand, for any smart home builder paying attention to the evolving housing market. Our ABC Green Homes represent the very best of American design, technology and construction, on an affordable on any lot footprint," said project developer Nick Slevin, publisher of Green Home Builder magazine. "These homes represent an ideal template to promote significant and positive change in the sustainable housing marketplace."

The home will eventually be made available to a disabled U.S. Veteran family through Habitat for Humanity on a lot donated by the City of Walnut.

Noted architect Manny Gonzalez and his team from the Los Angeles office of the KTGY Group Architecture + Planning designed the home; a 2,400-square foot plan that will accommodate multi-generational living and offers "smart home technology," which works together to automate a number of the home's basic systems, including the electrical, lighting, security and communication systems.

This high-performance home is being developed by Green Home Builder magazine, supported by SCE and built by Habitat for Humanity. Noted design team members include The KTGY Group Architecture + Planning, Urban Arena, LJP, Albus Keefe, Hall and Foreman, Gouvis Engineering Consulting Group, Green Point Rated, Venture One, and Ripple Creative Group. Much of the designers were part of the original team from the ABC Green Home 1.0, which has been on display at the Great Park for two years and was part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in 2013.

The ABC Green Home project features a flexible design by noted architect Manny Gonzalez and his team from the Los Angeles office of KTGY Group, who said that momentum has already been growing in recent years toward more housing such as this. "Being able to demonstrate that you can build a home that uses Net-Zero energy is important, but being able to do it affordably makes the message even more compelling for the home building industry," he said.

PetersenDean Roofing & Solar is supplying 8.5KW of solar for the home and a cool roof from Boral, helping it achieve Zero-Net Energy (ZNE), meaning it will produce as much energy as it uses during the year through a combination of energy efficient practices and products and on-site, grid-tied renewable energy production.

Organizers hope that the ABC Green Home will demonstrate how to utilize design, planning, engineering and science to create the ideal green home at a reasonable cost.

"There's a misconception in the housing business that green homebuilding is daunting," said Slevin. "We are building this home out of materials you can get anywhere. It is designed so that a homebuilder could replicate it on a lot anywhere in the country, using modern sustainable products and practices. There are few if any, affordable, entry-level, certified green homes being built by production homebuilders for sale in America so the home is expected to serve as a laboratory for design and construction of future sustainable housing."

Demonstrating the best green practices in the industry, the home will be certified by six agencies, including LEED Platinum for Homes certified, Cal Green, Build it Green, California Advanced Homes, ENERGY STAR and NAHB Green. These well-known programs represent a high standard in national third-party certification for sustainability in new home construction. "We chose the top six most commonly used rating systems that a builder would typically use themselves to independently certify that their homes are being properly constructed, sustainable and built green. Any builder can copy this model on any lot in America," said Slevin.

With contemporary styling and classic curb appeal, ABC 2.0 showcases energy-efficient products and appliances throughout the home. A tight building envelope is created with Icynene spray foam insulation, Tyvek StuccoWrap and ThermalStar Chrome rigid insulation behind the walls, as well as superior indoor air quality created by Air King ventilation. Other eco-friendly interiors include low-VOC paints by Dunn-Edwards and efficient windows, doors and appliances. Water efficiency is important and was achieved through low flow faucets by Delta, plumbing by FlowGuard Gold and efficient irrigation nozzles for the landscape by RainBird.

Other components include:

  • Solar panels have been placed on the rear roof to improve the home's appearance
  • Outdoor living area to help reduce indoor electricity costs
  • Studs are 2x6 inches, 24-inches on center instead of the traditional 16 inches. This reduces lumber use and creates larger spaces in walls for insulation.
  • Carpets are made from recycled materials.
  • Landscaping reduces water consumption, using permeable paving stones from Angelus Block
  • Non-toxic, zero emissions paint and wallpaper are used to improve the indoor air quality.

Building science innovation is the key to success, according to Saeed Bekam, president Gouvis Engineering Consulting Group. "With the ABC 2.0, we have been able to use new means and methods to achieve a sustainable and economical building. By using 2X6 studs spaced 24 inches apart instead of commonly used 2X4 at 16," we were able to provide a better system for both structural resistance to the imposed loads and provide more cavity space for energy efficient design without increasing the cost of construction. We also eliminated the corner studs. Other innovative ideas used single top plates, LED lights, structured plumbing and HVAC design, demand water circulation and more efficient roofing system/insulation."

The ABC Green Home 2.0 is setting new sustainable standards for Habitat for Humanity as well.

"We view it as a great learning opportunity for us while also allowing us to serve a local veteran and his or her family. While our homes exceed Title 24 standards, this is a whole new level of sustainability and we're very excited about it," said Jody Gmeiner, President/CEO of the Pomona Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The 2.0 home is pushing sustainable boundaries in many areas, including the solar component by PetersenDean, which includes 8.5 KW of solar, compared to the average 3.5KW on other green homes.

The ABC Green Home 2.0 is also a showcase for cutting edge technology. "Any home that is programmable by the home owner is exciting. There are a lot of things you can do with this home with the push of a button from turning on and off the lights, sprinklers, appliances and unlocking the doors, to monitoring your security system, or even closing the blinds, or turning on the ceiling fans," said Slevin. "Being able to operate your home from your smart phone device is a feature and a benefit. This smart home technology is standard in an ABC Green Home and we believe that technology simplifies life, and if you are a wounded vet you want things to be simple."

The home even includes Universal Design elements, making it suitable for ownership for a wide cross section of the American home-buying public. It is handicapped-compatible with wider doors and halls, lower work spaces, and can be adapted for wheelchairs in showers and under sinks.

ABC Green Home 2.0 partners include: ACT Inc., Action Power, Air King, Angelus Block, AO Smith, Atlas EPS, BEAM by Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems, BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems, Boral Roofing; California Redwood Co., California TrusFrame, Cultured Stone by Boral, Canadian Solar, Dacor, Danver, Delta Faucet, Dunn-Edwards, DuPont Building Innovations, ECO by Cosentino, Emser Tile, First American Title Company, FlowGuard Gold CPVC, Goodman HVAC, Hardy Frames, Honeywell, Icynene, Kaco, King Architectural Metals, LaHabra Stucco Solutions, LifeSource Water Systems, Milgard Windows, MiTek, MP Global Products, Nick's Building Supply, PetersenDean, Rain Bird, Sapphire Software, Schlage, Silestone, Stego, Trim-Tex, United Site Services and USP Structural Connectors.

Read more about green home certifications.


Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Cost of Ownership, Energy Star, Exteriors, Going Green, GREAT GREEN HOMES, Healthy Homes, Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Insulation, Interior Design, Lighting, Lumber and Structured Panels, Paint | Low VOC and No VOC, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Roofing, Solar Power, Washers & Dryers, Water Saving Devices, WaterSense, Windows

Companies: Honeywell International Inc., Icynene Inc., Delta Faucet Company, Electrolux Appliances, ACT D'MAND Systems


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