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Lakesideca News

An Energy Efficiency Showcase for Dow and Collaborators

The “Vision Zero” house in Michigan has joined the ranks of demonstration homes designed to building materials and the services of local contractors

In Michigan. The Vision Zero house, in Bay City, Michigan, is designed to operate at net zero energy.
Image Credit: Cobblestone Homes (images 1, 5, 6, and 7) and The Dow Chemical Company (images 2, 3, 4, and 8)
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that includes a video overview of some Vision Zero house energy efficiency features.

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.

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