High performance home will be erected onsite for Greenbuild Expo

 High performance home will be erected onsite for Greenbuild Expo

A factory-built home will demonstrate the latest in high performance home technology and building science Nov. 18 at the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C.

The demonstration home is under construction at Unity Homes' New Hampshire shop, and will be erected on site at the Greenbuild conference in just two days — demonstrating firsthand how quickly and efficiently Unity homes can be constructed on site. The home is being built in partnership with Hanley Wood, BUILDER magazine and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

The Greenbuild Unity home blends precision and speed of construction with some of the best performance in sustainable home building — demonstrating how Unity Homes can radically change the way homes are built in the United States for the better.

The 1,620-square-foot home is one of four styles Unity currently produces, each of which is highly customizable according to a client’s budget, site, living style, and design preferences. The Greenbuild Unity Home features a modern, light-filled and open-plan aesthetic, as well as airtight construction that virtually eliminates drafts and outside noise. Plus its large windows are designed and oriented to maximize natural light, solar gain, and maintain even temperatures throughout the house.

The 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home has been planned, designed, constructed, inspected and tested according to LEED for Homes version 4 program requirements, and is anticipated to achieve Platinum certification when moved to its permanent site in New Hampshire after Greenbuild.

The basic structure is comprised of highly insulated and airtight panelized floors, walls and roofing. But, a key component of Unity’s off-site construction is the company’s capability to manufacture “pods” for bathrooms, kitchens and mechanical systems. By completing the pods — complete with cabinets, appliances, fixtures and finishes — at the factory, Unity craftsmen are able to retain control over some of the most costly and complicated parts of the construction process. 

Unity Homes is an offshoot of the renowned post and beam homebuilding company Bensonwood, founded by Tedd Benson in 1972. Benson built on four decades of craftsmanship and innovation to found Unity Homes in 2012 with the goal of bringing affordable and truly energy efficient homes, built with precision and the highest levels of craftsmanship, to more homeowners. Unity’s presence at Greenbuild this year marks the company’s launch onto the national stage, with plans to rapidly grow the number of Unity homes built in 2016.

“As we prepare to expand to other regions, we are thrilled to have the honor and opportunity to bring one of our homes to Greenbuild,” said Benson. “Together with Hanley Wood and our world-class material and equipment manufacturer partners, we’re anxious to demonstrate to the discerning Greenbuild participants the Unity way of building.” 

Constructed at Unity’s production facilities in Walpole, New Hampshire, pods containing the kitchens, bathrooms, laundry room and mechanical systems have been laid out, assembled and prepared for shipment, including cabinets, appliances, fixtures and finishes, placing the most costly square footage within the controlled environment of Unity’s shop and labor force.  The rest of the home, including floors, walls, and roof are being built and shipped as complete panels with framing, sheathing, subflooring, wiring, insulation, windows/doors, and interior and exterior finishes in place. 

A typical on-site assembly of the shell takes one to three days.  The 2016 Greenbuild Unity Home will arrive six days prior to opening of Greenbuild for the crew to enclose, finish and furnish the show home prior to tours beginning Wednesday, November 18.

 “The Greenbuild Unity Home is an ideal way to introduce architects, builders and consumers to the power of transparency in the specification of healthy, sustainable products,” said Stacy Glass, Vice President, Built Environment for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

As a partner in the show home, the Institute will be featuring nearly two dozen products with Cradle to Cradle Certification or Material Health Certificates -- which provides manufacturers with a trusted way to communicate their work toward chemically optimized products. “Visitors will be able to observe a range of everyday products—from tile to window coverings to mattresses to soap—that offer third-party verification on five attributes: material health, material reutilization, renewable energy, water stewardship, and social fairness.”

Tours of the Greenbuild Unity home will be available at booth #2741 on the floor of the expo on Nov. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Virtual tours will be available online the first week of December.

Read more about high performance home building.

Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Home Design & Plans, Prefabricated Homes / Systems Built Homes / Modular Homes, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Thermal Envelope, Trade Show

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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