Launch Slideshow

An array of 42 photovoltaic panels along the south-facing roof, hidden from street view, is set to gather and convert enough solar power into electricity to equally offset even the most extreme cooling loads and the rest of the homes power needs.

More Than Zero

More Than Zero

  • Project: Timbercreek Zero-Energy House, Lewisville, TexasSize: 2,538 square feetBuilt Cost: $155 per square foot (not including some sponsor donations and discounts)Completed: November 2009Certifications: LEED-Platinum; Energy Star Qualified Homes; Green Built Texas; ANSI (pending) HERS rating: 1Builder: GreenCraft Builders, LewisvilleArchitect and Interiors: William Peck and Associates, Lewisville

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    Project: Timbercreek Zero-Energy House, Lewisville, TexasSize: 2,538 square feetBuilt Cost: $155 per square foot (not including some sponsor donations and discounts)Completed: November 2009Certifications: LEED-Platinum; Energy Star Qualified Homes; Green Built Texas; ANSI (pending) HERS rating: 1Builder: GreenCraft Builders, LewisvilleArchitect and Interiors: William Peck and Associates, Lewisville

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    James Wilson

    PROJECT DETAILS
    Project: Timbercreek Zero-Energy House, Lewisville, Texas
    Size: 2,538 square feet
    Built Cost: $155 per square foot (not including some sponsor donations and discounts)
    Completed: November 2009
    Certifications: LEED-Platinum; Energy Star Qualified Homes; Green Built Texas; ANSI (pending)
    HERS rating: 1
    Builder: GreenCraft Builders, Lewisville
    Architect and Interiors: William Peck and Associates, Lewisville

  • Engineered decking from Trex is manufactured from recycled plastics and wood fibers to achieve a durable plank that does not require additional treatments to protect against the elements. The companys Accents series features a finished wood-grain on one side of the plank and a smooth finish on the other, enabling design flexibility; available profiles include straight and groove-edged, 1-inch-thick planks and nominal 2x6 planks. The saddle color specified is engineered to weather only slightly from its original hue. 800.289.8739. www.trex.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp99D%2Etmp_tcm131-309744.jpg

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    Engineered decking from Trex is manufactured from recycled plastics and wood fibers to achieve a durable plank that does not require additional treatments to protect against the elements. The companys Accents series features a finished wood-grain on one side of the plank and a smooth finish on the other, enabling design flexibility; available profiles include straight and groove-edged, 1-inch-thick planks and nominal 2x6 planks. The saddle color specified is engineered to weather only slightly from its original hue. 800.289.8739. www.trex.com.

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    James Wilson

    DECKING
    Engineered decking from Trex is manufactured from recycled plastics and wood fibers to achieve a durable plank that does not require additional treatments to protect against the elements. The company’s Accents series features a finished wood-grain on one side of the plank and a smooth finish on the other, enabling design flexibility; available profiles include straight and groove-edged, 1-inch-thick planks and nominal 2x6 planks. The saddle color specified is engineered to weather only slightly from its original hue. 800.289.8739. www.trex.com.

  • The home's back deck encircles an existing tree on the property, preserving the landscape while providing additional shade.

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    The home's back deck encircles an existing tree on the property, preserving the landscape while providing additional shade.

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    James Wilson

    The home's back deck encircles an existing tree on the property, preserving the landscape while providing additional shade.

  • The south-facing roof features an array of 42 215-watt photovoltaic panels from SunPower. Each panel features high-transmission tempered glass designed to achieve a DC electrical conversion efficiency of 17.3%. Also rated for impact and fire resistance, the 9.03-kW array is poised to generate 1,000 kWh of usable electricity, more than offsetting the homes projected demand. An in-home monitoring system is available. 800.786.7693. http://us.sunpowercorp.com.The standing-seam metal roof from Distinctive Roofing provides a durable surface against rain, winds, and heat while delivering a stable surface for the solar panels on the southern exposure. The non-combustible, 24-gauge, light-colored steel material also deflects UV solar radiation away from the attic to reduce cooling costs and contains at least 56% recycled content. It is Energy Starrated. 866.560.6679. www.distinctiveroofing.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp99F%2Etmp_tcm131-303640.jpg

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    The south-facing roof features an array of 42 215-watt photovoltaic panels from SunPower. Each panel features high-transmission tempered glass designed to achieve a DC electrical conversion efficiency of 17.3%. Also rated for impact and fire resistance, the 9.03-kW array is poised to generate 1,000 kWh of usable electricity, more than offsetting the homes projected demand. An in-home monitoring system is available. 800.786.7693. http://us.sunpowercorp.com.The standing-seam metal roof from Distinctive Roofing provides a durable surface against rain, winds, and heat while delivering a stable surface for the solar panels on the southern exposure. The non-combustible, 24-gauge, light-colored steel material also deflects UV solar radiation away from the attic to reduce cooling costs and contains at least 56% recycled content. It is Energy Starrated. 866.560.6679. www.distinctiveroofing.com.

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    James Wilson

    SOLAR PANELS The south-facing roof features an array of 42 215-watt photovoltaic panels from SunPower. Each panel features high-transmission tempered glass designed to achieve a DC electrical conversion efficiency of 17.3%. Also rated for impact and fire resistance, the 9.03-kW array is poised to generate 1,000 kWh of usable electricity, more than offsetting the home’s projected demand. An in-home monitoring system is available. 800.786.7693. http://us.sunpowercorp.com. ROOFING The standing-seam metal roof from Distinctive Roofing provides a durable surface against rain, winds, and heat while delivering a stable surface for the solar panels on the southern exposure. The non-combustible, 24-gauge, light-colored steel material also deflects UV solar radiation away from the attic to reduce cooling costs and contains at least 56% recycled content. It is Energy Star–rated. 866.560.6679. www.distinctiveroofing.com.

  • GreenCraft Builders took special care to ensure the Timbercreek zero-energy house fits in well with its existing neighborhood, including incorporating a design suited to the 1960s-era community and situating PV panels away from street view.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9A0%2Etmp_tcm131-303647.jpg

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    GreenCraft Builders took special care to ensure the Timbercreek zero-energy house fits in well with its existing neighborhood, including incorporating a design suited to the 1960s-era community and situating PV panels away from street view.

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    James Wilson

    GreenCraft Builders took special care to ensure the Timbercreek zero-energy house fits in well with its existing neighborhood, including incorporating a design suited to the 1960s-era community and situating PV panels away from street view.

  • The homes Energy Starrated cooling unit from AAON features a 3-ton, 100% digital scroll compressor that delivers only the cooling capacity required, saving energy. The unit is rated at 17-SEER, uses an R410A refrigerant, and is equipped with a dehumidifier to help maintain an optimum (50%) indoor relative humidity for occupant comfort and health. 903.236.4403. www.aaon.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9A1%2Etmp_tcm131-303654.jpg

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    The homes Energy Starrated cooling unit from AAON features a 3-ton, 100% digital scroll compressor that delivers only the cooling capacity required, saving energy. The unit is rated at 17-SEER, uses an R410A refrigerant, and is equipped with a dehumidifier to help maintain an optimum (50%) indoor relative humidity for occupant comfort and health. 903.236.4403. www.aaon.com.

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    James Wilson

    HVAC
    The home’s Energy Star–rated cooling unit from AAON features a 3-ton, 100% digital scroll compressor that delivers only the cooling capacity required, saving energy. The unit is rated at 17-SEER, uses an R410A refrigerant, and is equipped with a dehumidifier to help maintain an optimum (50%) indoor relative humidity for occupant comfort and health. 903.236.4403. www.aaon.com.

  • Kohler supplied its standalone Escale bathtub; Purist sinks, faucets, and shower fittings; and Reve toilet to the master bathroom. The dual-flush (1.6-gpf/0.9-gpf), elongated toilet is WaterSense-labeled to reduce water use, as is the Purist wide-spread lav faucet, which includes a ceramic-disc valve for increased durability. The shower control features the companys Rite Temp pressure-balancing valve and high-temperature limit sensor to help reduce water use. 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

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    Kohler supplied its standalone Escale bathtub; Purist sinks, faucets, and shower fittings; and Reve toilet to the master bathroom. The dual-flush (1.6-gpf/0.9-gpf), elongated toilet is WaterSense-labeled to reduce water use, as is the Purist wide-spread lav faucet, which includes a ceramic-disc valve for increased durability. The shower control features the companys Rite Temp pressure-balancing valve and high-temperature limit sensor to help reduce water use. 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

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    Graham Hobart and GreenCraft Builders LLC

    BATH FIXTURES
    Kohler supplied its standalone Escale bathtub; Purist sinks, faucets, and shower fittings; and Reve toilet to the master bathroom. The dual-flush (1.6-gpf/0.9-gpf), elongated toilet is WaterSense-labeled to reduce water use, as is the Purist wide-spread lav faucet, which includes a ceramic-disc valve for increased durability. The shower control features the company’s Rite Temp pressure-balancing valve and high-temperature limit sensor to help reduce water use. 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com.

  • An array of 42 photovoltaic panels along the south-facing roof, hidden from street view, is set to gather and convert enough solar power into electricity to equally offset even the most extreme cooling loads and the rest of the homes power needs.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9DA%2Etmp_tcm131-303848.jpg

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    An array of 42 photovoltaic panels along the south-facing roof, hidden from street view, is set to gather and convert enough solar power into electricity to equally offset even the most extreme cooling loads and the rest of the homes power needs.

    600

    James Wilson

    An array of 42 photovoltaic panels along the south-facing roof, hidden from street view, is set to gather and convert enough solar power into electricity to equally offset even the most extreme cooling loads and the rest of the home’s power needs.

  • Custom-fabricated sunshades mimic the standing-seam metal roof, providing shading as well as an architectural element.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9DB%2Etmp_tcm131-303855.jpg

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    Custom-fabricated sunshades mimic the standing-seam metal roof, providing shading as well as an architectural element.

    600

    James Wilson

    Custom-fabricated sunshades mimic the standing-seam metal roof, providing shading as well as an architectural element.

  • The Energy Starapproved Sun Tunnel skylight from Velux reflects and projects daylight into the windowless utility room, mitigating the need for artificial lighting and therefore reducing lighting energy demand. Rigid and flexible tube models are available to accommodate various roof slope and framing situations, and the product is offered in 10- to 21-inch diameters. The tunnels also show no appreciable thermal gain or loss, according to the firm. 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp9DC%2Etmp_tcm131-303862.jpg

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    The Energy Starapproved Sun Tunnel skylight from Velux reflects and projects daylight into the windowless utility room, mitigating the need for artificial lighting and therefore reducing lighting energy demand. Rigid and flexible tube models are available to accommodate various roof slope and framing situations, and the product is offered in 10- to 21-inch diameters. The tunnels also show no appreciable thermal gain or loss, according to the firm. 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com.

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    James Wilson

    TUBULAR SKYLIGHT
    The Energy Star–approved Sun Tunnel skylight from Velux reflects and projects daylight into the windowless utility room, mitigating the need for artificial lighting and therefore reducing lighting energy demand. Rigid and flexible tube models are available to accommodate various roof slope and framing situations, and the product is offered in 10- to 21-inch diameters. The tunnels also show no appreciable thermal gain or loss, according to the firm. 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com.

PROFILE: Chris Miles
GREENCRAFT BUILDERS, LEWISVILLE, TEXAS

  • Image from ECO HOUSE 2009 Lewisville,TX

    Chris Miles, GreenCraft Builders, Lewisville, Texas

Chris Miles’ drive to reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment is tireless. While he finished a LEED-Platinum custom spec house last March, just in time for tours during the NAHB National Green Building Conference, he and architect Bill Peck began a zero-energy house with a 14-week construction schedule, this time with a homeowner already attached. “We weren’t going to do a second show house this year,” Miles says, “but in a down year we were afraid we’d lose our sponsors if we didn’t jump on it.”

Sponsors are just one anomaly of Miles’ homes and his history. For nearly 15 years every Saturday afternoon, for instance, he’s hosted HouseTalk, a radio show advocating building science and energy efficiency, among other things, to consumers and pros in North Texas.

And while Miles subjects his homes to various green certification standards, he resents manufacturers and suppliers who push green products as a way to gain rating-systems credits. “That’s not why I use a particular product or how I want my business to be known,” he says. “I use something because it’s good for the house, to enhance its comfort and quality, not to get a bunch of points.”

What does excite him about LEED and other programs are the provisions and requirements for using local and regional sources, reclaimed and recycled-content products, water-conservation and reclamation systems, and construction waste management tactics. “Learning about ways to meet those specifications is what’s fun about what we do.” —R.B.