Green Building & Sustainable Development
Sage Homebuilders Builds Near-Zero Energy Home
Sage Homebuilders (Sage) is building a showcase home that will help demonstrate the variety of "green" building practices and materials that are revolutionizing the home building industry.
The Sage Near-Zero Energy Home, which is sponsored by Owens Corning, is currently under construction in Creve Coeur, MO at 29 Beacon Hill Lane, and will be completed in late Spring 2007. The 3,700 sq. ft. house will be a near-zero energy home (NZEH), meaning that it will produce a majority of the energy it uses via solar power. The use of renewable energy, such as solar power is one of many green features to be showcased; others include ICF construction (Insulated Concrete Forms) for the walls, geothermal heating and cooling, PEX plumbing, radiant heat blocking house wrap, and various green construction techniques. The interior finishes will showcase some of the many high quality and fashionable green options that are now on the market, including bamboo and cork floors, countertops made from recycled glass, plumbing fixtures that conserve water, non-off-gassing paint and adhesives, low-energy use light fixtures, and many others.
The idea of the home is to help educate those in the homebuilding industry, as well as homebuyers and the general public, in a tangible way, about the various green building options and their benefits. The home is projected to be awarded the difficult to achieve green certification under both the Home Builder's Association GBI program and the USGBC's LEED-H program.
Market research has indicated that a paradigm shift is taking place in the building industry, a shift towards a new, greener way of building homes. McGraw Hill's recent report - the Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report - predicts that 2007 will be the "tipping point" for green building, and that by 2010 a majority of homebuilders will be building green. The change is already starting to occur, with a 20 percent increase in the number of green homes in 2005, and a projected 30 percent in 2006.
Rick Hunter, Managing Partner of Sage, states, "this paradigm shift is fueled by consumers who are demanding a house that "works" for them, a home which helps them cope with rising energy costs, a home that works to reduce effects of allergies, asthma, and other air related health issues, a home that is designed to require less maintenance and last longer, and a home which seriously addresses the impact that homes have on climate change."
The Showcase home will be a highlight of the green building tour for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Conference which is being held in St. Louis March 25-27, 2007. The Conference will bring over 1,400 builders and dozens of national and local media representatives. The home will also be a cornerstone in the Parade of Green Homes, an event being planned by local green homebuilders for late spring. This event is a local event, aimed at the general public, which showcases green homes that are available for sale or coming to the market.
At completion, the house will be held open for various group events, tours, and other educational opportunities, before being sold. Those with an interest in seeing the house or scheduling an event there can get more information at the Sage Homebuilders website: www.sagestl.com
. The home will be for sale in May 2007.
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