for Humanity makes home ownership a reality for low-income,
working families who would not qualify for a conventional
mortgage. Part of our strategy is to demonstrate that Energy
Efficiency is a big part of making housing Affordable.
Read on for a brief introduction to our current project.
How Efficient is the Avon House?
By some measures, the Avon house will probably be the most
energy efficient house in the county! This 5 bedroom, 2100
sq ft house will not require a conventional furnace, and the
annual heating bill is predicted to be just over $200.
So how does one build such an affordable, low energy home?
Our inspiration came largely from a couple of energy efficient
homes build by other Habitat affiliates. We ended up using
a combination of features from those homes and homes being
built in Alaska!
The most noticeable feature is probably the relatively thick,
very well insulated walls (R-40). Less noticeable is the insulation
under the slab (R-20) and in the ceilings (R-90). The house
will also have very efficient triple pane windows.
it Tight, Ventilate Right
Less visible is the fact that the house will be very air tight!
We are shooting for the Passive
House standard...about 10 times tighter than code
requires. Building a house this tight has many advantages,
but also requires proper ventilation. We will be using a 95%
efficient Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) to ventilate without
loosing a significant amout of heat in the winter, or cool
air in the summer.
For more information, explore the links from this page (you
will be taken to remote sites for lots of details). You can
also sign up to help build this Habitat house and learn first
hand how to build a truly affordable, super-efficient green