Even if it attracts significant buyer interest, “Vision Zero,” a recently completed energy efficient house in Bay City, Michigan, is unlikely to be sold for at least a year, say those who collaborated on the project. Vision Zero is – like a lot of other new builds that have popped up to help market energy efficient construction, retrofits, and materials – a demonstration home first and piece of housing inventory second.
The Dow Chemical Company and Saginaw-based builder Cobblestone Homes with several other local contractors and suppliers to construct the 1,752-sq.-ft. three-bedroom/two-bath ranch-style house. It is being presented as Michigan’s first net zero energy single-family dwelling, but also as a destination for people who want to learn about energy efficient construction and materials and appliances that can be used to improve the performance of existing homes.
A no-holds-barred approach
The house is packed with Dow insulation products, including Styrofoam structural insulated sheathing, Styrofoam polyurethane spray foam (for above-grade interior walls and the attic), Perimate insulation (on the basement wall exterior), Thermax sheathing (on the interior basement wall), and a range of sealing materials that collectively push the building’s energy efficiency to almost 70% above that of a comparable home built to code.
, though, is also very much about the virtues of renewable-energy systems, including its ground-source heat pump, solar hot water, and a solar-power system that features both a conventional photovoltaic array on the rooftop facing the back of the house and, on the front-facing roof, Dow Powerhouse solar shingles.
The energy efficiency upgrades over code added $78,400 to the construction cost, according to Dow, while the house is expected save about $3,507 in annual energy costs.
We’re checking with the builder on R values for the shell and on overall construction costs, and will include them here when they become available.