The New American Home Offers New Ideas For Energy Efficient Home Building

by Randy

Cutting Edge, Energy Efficient, Green Homes, Home And Garden Tours, LEED, Money Saving Tips, Recycled Materials

While in Orlando recently, I took time to visit the The New American Home show home built specifically for the 2007 International Builders Show.



This house is a spectacle of cutting-edge green homebuilding techniques, technologies, design and materials.

Here are just a few of the numerous beneficial green homebuilding items of note.

Energy efficiency was a primary goal and this home shows production homebuilders how to go about using the ideas, techniques, materials, design and technologies to work toward building zero energy homes.

The New American Home is a modern interpretation of historic bungalow architecture, while at the same time a three-story urban loft and is located in the Lake Eola Heights historic district of downtown Orlando, Florida. .

Lake_Eola_Heights_historic_district_sign.JPGThe project was a collaboration between custom homebuilder Homes by Carmen Dominguez and Bloodgood Sharp Buster Architects & Planners.

There is 3733 sq. ft. of conditioned living area, a basement, roof plaza, and a detached two-car garage with guest suite above.

Below you’ll find just a few of the many great energy efficient and green home building ideas that are currently available to consumers. There are some links at the bottom of this post where you can increase your green homebuilding know-how and take advantage of today’s technological advances in energy efficiency to get the most out of your current or future home


Natural-gas-fueled instantaneous tankless water heaters installed

  • A solar thermal hot water system preheats the water for the instantaneous water heaters, thus, saving even more energy. Rinnai tankless water heaters were installed with an EF rating of 0.82.


Flexi-Pave recycled rubber tire driveway


  • The Flexi-Pave driveway is a pour in place product made of recycled rubber tires and we all know that old tires are a tremendous problem in this mobile society that we all live in. There are many benefits to this particular product and you can read about them on Flexi-Pave’s FAQ.


Solar Photovoltaic System

Image courtesy

  • There is a 2.4-kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof that powers all of the appliances. Any surplus electricity generated is sold back to the local electric utility. It saves approximately 9 kW hours per day on average.


High Performance HVAC System

Image courtesy

  • The basement, first and second floors are conditioned by two Lennox heat pumps with a 17.8 SEER, and the third floor is handled by a Lennox 15 SEER gas/electric unit. The ductwork is entirely within conditioned space to increase the energy efficiency of the system as a whole.


Pre-cast, Insulated Concrete Exterior Walls


  • The pre-cast concrete walls has the equivalent thermal performance of R-26 wood-framed walls. Being pre-cast, it allowed a decrease in construction time, saving money in labor costs at the job site.


A Highly Energy Efficient Home

  • All factors considered, The New American Home for 2007 has a whole-house energy savings of 49% with an even better savings of 58% when the solar photovoltaic system kicks in. Independently, the heating and cooling systems use approximately 73% less energy and 54% less energy to heat water compared to a comparably sized house in this part of the country.


“The energy features in The New American Home can be used in homes at any price point with equivalent energy savings.” Source

The items mentioned above are just a few of the many features that I plan to discuss in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

Fun_Times_Guide_to_Homebuilding_web_author_Randy_reflection.JPGRelated links

DOE’s Building America program

Building Industry Research Alliance (BIRA)

Building Science Consortium (BSC)

Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB)

IBACOS Consortium Group – Lots of great technical information available here.

Industrialized Housing Partnership (IHP)

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) – Great information for consumers and builders alike.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Energy Star

A lively conversation regarding the 2007 New American Home at treehugger. Honestly good site!