Proud Green Home at Serenbe ribbon cutting opens new era in high-performance homes
Story and photos by Steve Arel.
The ribbon cutting Saturday in Serenbe did more than open a new innovative high-performance home. The ceremonious act opened the door to a new era of home building and thought when it comes to residential construction.
The official unveiling of the Proud Green Home Aug. 17, 2013, was hailed as proof to builders and consumers alike that deep green philosophies and techniques can be achieved through proper planning and design.
“The Proud Green Home, at first, it’s a home,” said Chris Laumer-Giddens, the home’s architect. “Efficiency isn’t just about elements, but how does it perform as a piece of the community?”
The ribbon-cutting attracted roughly three dozen people, including the designers, builder, manufacturers with products used in the home and those whose vision brought the project to fruition.
Many of those among the mix of people gathered on the Proud Green Home’s front porch to cut the gold ribbon with green scissors said the development couldn’t have happened without considerable support and collaboration from companies representing a number of business sectors.
|Read about the themes behind the Proud Green Home at Serenbe|
“You have to have the right team,” builder Luis Imery of the Imery Group said. “We achieved our goals and exceeded our goals.”
Imery, whose company is based in Athens, Ga., called the year-long construction process a “wonderful journey.”
The 2,570-square-foot Proud Green Home already is considered the pinnacle of residential performance, both in opinion and fact.
On Thursday, Southface awarded the home EarthCraft Platinum status, the non-profit organization’s highest rating for efficiency. Southface is among the nation’s leaders in education and research organizations promoting sustainable homes.
The structure also has been given a Home Energy Rating System score of -2. The typical American resale home comes in with a HERS of 130, far above the 100 federally mandated for new residential construction.
The key to achieving such recognition resulted from a determined focus on details and by following an approach that everything within a home, in one way or another, affects everything else within that home.
While aesthetics are a critical component in a home’s makeup, much of the planning and design of the Proud Green Home centered on comfort and efficiency. Imery and Laumer-Giddens spent countless hours, long before dirt on the lot was first moved, determining through building science what would work best and what wouldn’t.
The two, Imery said, went back and forth, examining various energy models and even having a three-dimensional virtual design developed that gave them a peek at their vision as reality.
“We didn’t leave anything to chance,” he said.
In a special session to discuss the design and construction of the Proud Green Home before Saturday’s ribbon-cutting, Imery said such a home wouldn’t work in every neighborhood. But the methods and approaches employed at Serenbe can be of value at most any price point.
Success can be achieved by thinking holistically, taking into consideration everything from the environment, to the lot, to the community in which a home will be built. All those factors and more can sometimes make proper design tougher than rocket science, Laumer-Giddens said.
But in the end, high-performance home projects should keep the same end state in mind.
“As people invest, they want to invest in things that will last,” Laumer-Giddens said.
Read more about the Proud Green Home at Serenbe.
Companies: ProudGreenHome.com, Southface Energy Institute, Kohler, BASF Corporation, PPG Pittsburgh Paints, Kleendeck, LLC, Serenbe Sustainable Community, LG Squared, Inc., The Imery Group, Benjamin Obdyke, Zehnder America, SmartBIM, Huber Engineered Woods, Wood-Mode, Inc.