The smell of a new car, new carpet, or a freshly painted room is actually chemicals off-gassing or slowly releasing some of the byproducts of the production process. We use adhesives, sealants, and paints that contain low or no amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that give off that new car smell. Don't worry, there is still paint on the walls and adhesive to help keep floors from squeaking, we just want to make sure they don't make anyone sick.
Greater comfort, reduced utility bills, and a quieter home
Highly efficient R5 Windows (U-factor lower than .22) reduce energy costs and impede sound transmission. According to Department of Energy research, improving the U-factor of 0.30 (R3 window) to U-factor 0.22 (R5 window) may reduce the average heat loss through windows by 40%, significantly reducing utility bills. Triple glazing (three panes of glass and two air spaces) also reduces the cold feeling against windows during the winter and sound transmission, resulting in a more comfortable, quieter home.
Build it tight and vent it right!
Building a tight exterior envelope with properly controlled mechanical ventilation is the ultimate solution for top indoor air quality (IAQ). This home has Panasonic spot ERVs (Energy Recovery Ventilators) which bring fresh air into the home and exhaust stale air. Energy-efficient ERVs recover heat and moisture according to the season while maintaining balanced air pressure within the home.
RIGHT-SIZED HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM
Engineered for your home
Often heating and cooling systems in new houses are installed using rules-of-thumb from the 1960s. The heating and cooling comfort system for our homes was carefully designed to meet the varied heating and cooling extremes of Chicago but also provide the best possible performance and total comfort in all rooms. In addition to correctly-sizing the Mitsubishi heating and cooling system based on the details of each home, the second-floor ductwork and registers are also calculated and sized to provide the right amount of air flow for each room based on orientation and number of windows.
Save money and go carbon neutral
The roofs of many of our homes are filled with 25 photovoltaic solar panels. Over the course of one year, this 8kw rated array is calculated to provide 10.297 megawatt hours (Mwh) of electricity, as much or more than homeowners are expected to use with a modestly conservation lifestyle. In 2014, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10.932 Mwh, and this house is considerably more efficient than average. This system has a central inverter which allows detailed monitoring online or via smartphone app.
WHISPERGREEN® BATH FANS
Bathroom ventilation and moisture management
WhisperGreen® bath fans by Panasonic® are the gold standard for maximizing indoor air quality in air-tight, energy efficient homes. They allow for fast, quiet ventilation at a very low utility cost and are among the most energy efficient fans available.
HYBRID HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER
High efficiency without sacrificing comfort
A water heater is typically the second-biggest household energy user. This hybrid heat pump is Rheem's most advanced, energy-efficient water heater, with over $4,000 in lifetime savings. Unlike previous generation heat pump water heaters, the hybrid technology (heat pump and traditional electric) heats water faster than most standard electric water heaters. A smartphone app gives users control over water systems, allowing for customizable temperature, vacation settings, energy savings and system monitoring at home or away.
Cleaner air and safer
This is an all-electric home, with no fossil fuels burned in any appliances. There is no gas connection to the home. Not only does this result in a reduction in cleaner indoor air and reduction of carbon monoxide hazards, it allows homeowners to more easily live a carbon neutral lifestyle. It also al lows for a more intuitive understanding of net-zero energy without having to make gas to electric energy calculations.
INDUCTION STOVE/CONVECTION OVEN
Release your inner chef
In this all-electric home, a gas stove is the one gas appliance some homeowners might miss. That's why we have included an induction stove. The induction stovetop is not only the most efficient electric stovetop, it is a cook’s dream. It boils water in two minutes. Heat is adjustable with greater accuracy than with gas or typical electric cooktops, especially at lower settings. Induction heats the pan, not the cooktop, offering greater safety, efficiency, and easier cleanup.
Recycled content in the footings, foundation and basement floor
Fly ash is a waste product from power plants that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Mixed with traditional cement, fly ash reduces the environmental impact of cement and concrete production and can improve the quality and durability of the finished product.
An advanced framing technique
Exterior corners can do well with fewer studs and more insulation in them; less wood means more insulation. Our corners use two studs in place of the more traditional three or four. These "California" corners create space for insulation where none existed before, eliminating the problem of cold corners in the winter.