We have received some fantastic news about the exceptional performance of our Unity Homes.
We recently completed our first Unity Home, a Xyla in southern Vermont. The home was tested by Efficiency Vermont for compliance with the Vermont Residential Building Energy Standard (VT-RBES). The 2,376 sq. ft. home with conditioned walk out basement achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 44, receiving a 5 Star Plus Certification for excellence in energy efficiency.
So what does that mean to a home buyer?
It means this home is 56% more energy efficient than a home built to current code and 86% more efficient than the average American home.
This home also tested at 0.51 ACH50! This number is so extraordinarily low that it surpasses the Passive House standard of 0.6 ACH50.
So you don’t have to take our word for it – the numbers show our Unity Homes continue to exceed the energy performance of other homes built to code.
The Washington Post Real Estate section this weekend featured an article: What is fabulous about prefab housing, which features a nice mention of Bensonwood, particularly the OBPlus Wall.
There are several key differentiators between our new Unity Homes and other standard homes built to code on the market, including the design, adaptability, Open-Built processes, off-site construction and prefabricated building. But anyone can SAY their homes are better. We’re backing it up with actual building science.
Recently Bensonwood Assistant Project Manager and Energy Analyst, Rheannon DeMond, who studied Architecture and Building Science in college, produced a Building Shell and Energy Consumption Comparison based on a Unity Home plan compared to other shells that can be found in the industry.
You can read the full two-page report here but to sum it up: Unity Homes outperform several of what the industry considers to be well-built, high performing homes – in a number of heat and energy categories. And keep in mind this is a standard Unity Home.
The Building Shell and Energy Comparison uses the Varm 113 Building Shell, and compares it to the Average New England Home, 2003 IECC Home, 2009 IECC home, 2012 IECC Home and an Advanced Thermal package.
The Baseline Unity Home consumes less energy than all other code building shells modeled, and only uses fractions more than the Advanced Thermal Package that has been used to achieve Passive House Standards in the New England area. The Energy Comparison confirms the benefits of heating with an Air Source Heat Pump, which results in an estimated 50% reduction in Annual Heating Costs. Lastly it reveals the predicted payback period for Solar Electric Systems over a thirty year period, while emphasizing the importance of a solid thermal envelope and air tight building shell.
To produce the Energy Comparison, Rheannon created a complete Energy Model of the Baseline Varm 113 home if it was situated in Portland, ME. After she obtained all of the performance numbers for that Building Shell, she used the same building footprint and location to model different versions of the International Energy Code Shell Specifications. Once she had modeled the performance numbers for all of the building shells she graphed the information to show how a Baseline Unity Home compares to the rest of the industry.
The numbers are impressive, and we continue to adapt and improve the design and performance of these homes. We’re on a mission with Unity Homes. Join us – sign up to receive Unity and Bensonwood news.
Fine Homebuilding talks to Tedd about timberframing, weathering the Great Recession, and where he (and Bensonwood) are going in the next few years.
Buildipedia has published a substantial interview with Tedd. Read it here.
Before it’s news has republished an interview Tedd gave to Green Building Canada. You can read it here.