Pennsylvania-based home builders that offer new homes in Pennsylvania and West Virginia is testing a green home — which is different from a standard house because its a net-zero (i.e. consumes zero energy and emits zero carbon) home that promotes sustainability. S&A Homes, the home builder, is teaming up with IBACOS — Integrated Building and Construction Solutions, a local building sciences consulting firm, to test the green home’s natural “tear” and “wear”.
Another home builder, Shea Homes, is building a new green home model that promotes sustainability and offers a guarantee for cooling and heating-cost reduction under Environment for Living, a program created by the company, which offers refund.
The two firms will receive real-time data from the green home — how its system reacted and copes with the natural depreciation resulting from ordinary use and exposure.
The green home “project” is called Best Practices Research Alliance Lab Home., and will run for three years.
The test home, according to a report, is an extension of the home builder’s E-Home, an Energy Efficient, Eco-Friendly Homes in 2009, which are energy-saving but not net zero like the green-test-home.
The E-homes’ features include recycled materials, advanced HVAC systems, fluorescent lighting, energy-efficient windows, which are said to cut monthly energy costs by $150.
The test home, on the other hand, take some extra step towards sustainability and had some extra energy efficient features integrated in the house including solar panels as the source for energy, heat pump system, and 8-inches thick walls (exterior) with R-40 insulation — a high level insulation system.
The green home is located at Cobblestone Estates development in the suburbs of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.