Through its Zero Energy Ready Homes initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy has been busy documenting homes that live, work, and last better. They’ve put together a great web resource with such homes all over the country. TC Legend Homes is well represented, with four such “homes of the future” in the Marine climate zone, three of which were Housing Innovation Award winners.
Check out the full tour or click on the links below to take a virtual tour of homes that are so energy efficient a renewable energy system can offset all or most of their annual energy consumption. These award-winning homes are independently certified to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready Home guidelines. Zero Energy Ready Home is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings initiative. Better Buildings aims to make commercial, industrial, public, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade.
Judges evaluated the entries on comprehensive criteria, including siting, the depth of building science employed, materials sourcing and reuse and overall resilience. All winners will be showcased in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Green Builder magazine.
“Every year we think we have maxed out the possibilities with the current crop of entries, until we get the new set of entries the following year,” says Green Builder Media President, Ron Jones. “I have to say that I am completely blown away by the judges selections for this year’s awards and amazed by the diversity of project types, geographic locations, selections of materials/products/systems, and architectural styles. The masterful combining of creativity and building science so beautifully and convincingly demonstrated in these projects should inspire everyone, everywhere in the shelter industry to emulate these extraordinary designers and builders.”
The Bellingham Power House, winner of Green Builder magazine’s Home of the Year Award in the “Best Alternative Construction” category.
This year’s judging panel included some of the most forward thinking individuals in the building industry.
Bill Rectanus is the vice president of Homebuilding Operations for Thrive Home Builders (formerly New Town Builders) and is responsible for the implementation of their “High Performance Building Initiative.”
Sam Hagerman is the co-founder and co-owner of Hammer and Hand, a construction company dedicated to inciting evolution in building through service, craft and science.
Steve Byers is the CEO of EnergyLogic which serves a variety of clients in the residential and light commercial energy efficiency and sustainability spaces helping to “make buildings better.”
This was a big year for the Bellingham Power House, which also won a Housing Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Energy. This unique home goes way beyond zero-energy-ready by not only producing enough solar electricity to meet the home’s needs but generates enough of a surplus to power the owners’ two electric cars. Learn more about this award-winning positive-energy home here.
About Green Builder Magazine
Green Builder® magazine is the building industry’s leading magazine focused on green building and sustainable development. Green Builder offers practical, cost-effective information to a community of the most advanced building professionals across the country. The magazine’s nationally award winning editorial team blends top-quality visionary content with sophisticated design to generate an unforgettable publication that addresses the most important issues of our time.
About Green Builder Media
Green Builder® Media, LLC is the leading media company in North America focused on green building and sustainable living. With a comprehensive suite of print and digital media solutions, demonstration projects, case studies, online training, and live events, Green Builder Media assists building professionals in preparing themselves for the new green economy and helps homeowners understand how to live more sustainably.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that TC Legend Homes was chosen from builders across the nation to win a Housing Innovation Award for our Bellingham Power House.
The Housing Innovation Awards recognize the very best in innovation on the path to zero energy ready homes. Our entry goes way beyond zero-energy-ready by not only producing enough solar electricity to meet the home’s needs but generates enough of a surplus to power the owners’ two electric cars.
DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Housing Innovation Award Winners are selected for each of four categories: custom, production, multifamily, and affordable homes. One DOE ZERH Grand Housing Innovation Award Winner will be announced from among the winners in each of these categories at the 2015 Housing Innovation Awards Ceremony held on October 6, 2015, at the EEBA Excellence in Building Conference & Expo in Denver, Colorado. We were thrilled to be chosen as a Grand Winner in 2014, and our fingers are crossed to win this distinction again this year.
You can learn more about our winning entries by browsing the excellent U.S. Department of Energy Tour of Zero case studies:
When we met Corbin, he asked us to build him a home that was about as efficient as any ever constructed in Leavenworth. While he didn’t want to go for full Passive House certification, this home came close. And with its massive rooftop living area, complete with bed and outdoor shower, it turned out to be one of the coolest, most comfortable dwellings we’ve ever built.
Shortly after completing his dream home, Corbin found his plans unexpectedly changing. He moved away from Leavenworth and reluctantly put his home on the market. It is currently listed at $384,900.
There’s nothing we love more than building overachieving homes. Our latest project will not only produce enough solar electricity to meet its own energy needs, but it will produce surplus power to charge two electric cars: a Tesla Model S and a Nissan Leaf.
Nicknamed the Power House, it is the first of its kind in Whatcom County and one of few such homes in the world.
Perhaps more remarkable than the home’s efficiency is its modest price tag. Shared by two couples and three children, the 3,000-square-foot custom home will cost under $110 per square foot to build, significantly less than most other residential construction projects in Bellingham.
With its airtight shell, structural insulated panel (SIP) construction, numerous south-facing windows, highly efficient heat pump, and approximately 10,000-watt solar panel array (built by Bellingham’s own iTek Energy), this one-of-a-kind house has no electrical bills and costs nothing to heat. No oil, natural gas, or other fuels are used.
The home sends power to the city’s electrical grid when the sun is out and draws it during the night or on cloudy days. (Contrary to popular belief, the Pacific Northwest is an excellent place for solar.) Averaged over the entire year, the panels produce more power than the house uses, with enough of a surplus to power the two electric cars through on-site charging stations.
The house will qualify for a one-time federal tax credit of approximately $10,500 and Washington State solar production credits of approximately $5,000 a year until 2020.
The owners are also saving money by teaming up with friends. The Power House is being built under a unique co-ownership agreement between the owners of TC Legend Homes, Ted Clifton and Rachel Lee, and their longtime friend Eric Murphy.
The house features two residences, each with its own private entrance, connected by a 700-square-foot common area.
Eric Murphy, a professional mountaineering guide who leads trips around the world, says he is especially enthused by the climbing wall and home brewing area that will be integrated into the home’s shared space.
The house has a system to harvest rainwater from the roof into a 3,000-gallon cistern, which also helps to trim the home’s utility bills.
The Cliftons will be irrigating their eighth-acre vegetable garden using only water they collect.
The home will show that cutting-edge energy efficiency can actually be affordable. By eliminating entire categories of expenses, like your home heating bill, your electrical bill, and now even your gasoline bill for your cars, then you can really see how this idea can pay off. And if one house can be shared by two families, you come out even further ahead.
Bellingham’s first positive-energy house will be completed early this spring.