ABC Green Home 3.0 Prepares for California's Net Zero Energy Regulations
The third iteration of The ABC (Affordable, Buildable, Certifiable) Green Home, one of the first sustainable homes of its kind to be built with readily available building materials, opened on April 6.
The multi-generational home was spearheaded by Peninsula Publishing in partnership with SoCalGas and Southern California Edison in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County as the building partner. More than 100 design consultants, product manufacturers, and volunteers donated their labor and materials for this pro bono project that will be provided to a needy Veteran family.
This “futuristic home,” designed by Danielian Associates Architecture + Planning, is designed to serve as a learning tool as California prepares to meet 2020 mandates that require all new homes to be “Net Zero Energy,” meaning they must produce more energy than they consume. The ABC Green Home Project’s mission is simple: to design and build a series of Net-Zero-Energy homes that serve as examples of high-performance, energy-efficient homes, as California marches towards implementation of its Net-Zero regulations in 2020 all while giving back to the veteran community.
The ABC Green Home 3.0 is the latest installment to the brand and will soon be used to educate and train builders, students, industry groups, and thousands of visitors. The home will be rated by the six largest national energy ratings organizations, including LEED, Build it Green, The DOE’s Builder Challenge, Energy Star and The National Green Building Standard (NGBS) adopted by the NAHB as well as an indoor air quality rating from Wellness Within Your Walls.
The homes are shared from design through construction with a national audience of 200,000 home building industry trade professionals in print and online.
Peninsula Publishing assembled a team of design partners who consulted pro-bono on the design of each home, in collaboration with SoCalGas and Southern California Edison, who also got behind the project. Peninsula Publishing (and its Green Home Builder magazine) approached their own advertisers who agreed to donate their materials and, in some cases, labor. Legacy partners like Milgard Windows, Whirlpool, ACT, Inc., MP Global, Stego, PetersenDean Roofing and Solar, LaHabra Stucco and Moen have been on all or at least most of the homes. Volunteer based Habitat For Humanity of Orange County was the homebuilder, alongside BCA Development, an Orange County based home building business.
“There’s a misconception in the housing business that green homebuilding is daunting,” said Nick Slevin, publisher of Green Home Builder magazine and a project organizer. “We built this home out of materials you can get anywhere. It is designed to be easily built by a homebuilder, 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.”
ABC Green Homes 3.0 is a cluster of three, Net Zero, LEED homes reflecting contemporary architecture in the spirit of the existing Eichler-style neighborhoods nearby. As a condition of providing the lot, The City of Fullerton specifically requested the development team reinterpret the iconic Eichler-built homes and the team at Danielian Associates obliged with the bold, contemporary design of the homes, the main one of which is multi-generational. These Net-Zero homes are also designed to showcase best practices in high-performance home building design, technology, and construction, and feature energy- and water-saving features throughout.
“The original premise of Eichler was to bring affordable, modern design to the masses,” said John Danielian, AIA, Principal at Danielian Associates Architecture + Planning. “Most builders today correlate this style of architecture with custom homes or high cost production housing. As a firm we were very excited to not only provide the architecture and design services for the ABC Green Home 3.0, but also show the homebuilding community that modern design can truly be affordable.”
With the contemporary take on Eichler styling, The ABC Green Home 3.0 showcases sustainable products and a fresh two-story floor plan. Everything within the home is eco- and health-friendly, from the low-VOC paints to the windows, doors, faucets, bathroom fixtures, appliances, solar roof, furnishings and landscaping. Other eco-friendly components include:
- Smart appliances and a control system that allow the homeowner to adjust the thermostat, open the doors, dim the lights, and more remotely.
- Conditioned attic space keeps HVAC ductwork from becoming overheated in warmer weather, therefore working with, rather than against, a cooling system which in turn saves energy.
- The tankless water heater uses both electricity and gas to heat water more quickly, and, paired with the on demand delivery system, saves the water typically wasted while waiting for it to heat.
- A gas appliance suite helps keep electricity use down and solar panels placed on the roof improve the home’s sustainable energy-consumption.
- Studs – the upright pieces of lumber in walls – have been built 2-feet apart instead of the traditional 16 inches and are made from 2-by-6-inch boards instead of the traditional 2-by-4’s. This reduces lumber use and creates bigger spaces in walls for insulation (which happens to be traditional blown-in fiberglass in the 3.0 home, keeping it cost effective).
- Hardy landscaping reduces water consumption, especially when using paving stones that recycle water for irrigation as well as a tube that sweats water into the soil from a system that tests the air for moisture.
- Non-toxic, zero- and low-emissions paint and furnishings are used to improve the indoor air quality.
The home also features universal design principles, making it suitable for ownership for a wide cross section of the American home-buying public. It is handicapped-accessible, with features like wider doors and halls, lower work spaces, and can be adapted for wheelchairs in showers and under sinks.
ABC Green Homes incorporate some of today’s most modern and sustainable homebuilding elements. Designed from the ground up to optimize advanced sustainability and energy-efficient components, The ABC Green Home 3.0 feature universal livability that will embrace the positive elements of nature such as capturing and utilizing gentle breezes to cool and constantly freshen the home’s interior. The south-facing roof areas provide the perfect location for the solar panels that will add to the home’s sustainable footprint by generating power to offset the electric bill and help mitigate greenhouse gas, an ingredient in global warming.
As a true multi-generational home, the main ABC Green Homes 3.0 Home also includes a self-contained ground floor unit featuring a completely separate one-bedroom “multi-gen suite” of 431 square feet with a comfortable living room, kitchenette, full bath, washer/dryer, and will have its own exterior patio and outside entrance for ultimate privacy. The suite can be home to a veteran living with their family or the caregiver for a veteran.
The ABC Green Homes 3.0 design team also includes Gouvis Engineering Consultant Group, structural and mechanical engineers; Fuscoe Engineering, civil and environmental engineers; and Summers Murphy landscape architects. Energy Inspectors are providing the Green Rating Services. All of the consultant and design team members services are being provided on a pro bono basis.
This innovative project will be on display during special events in the month of April, allowing the public to explore the concept of affordable eco-living.
Read more about green home building.