HUD IS HOPING THAT THE ENERGY-efficient concept home it built in Omaha, Neb., will be a blueprint for the future of American housing.
“In the past, we have worked with builders to do field evaluations of three or four building technologies,” says Michael Blanford, project manager of the concept home. “But we wanted to make a statement, so we put many of these features into one house.”
Built under the agency's Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, the house features more than 60 efficient and sustainable products and systems. In addition, it is built to incorporate flexible floor plans; efficient organization of systems to provide easy access to repairs, upgrades, and remodeling; and improved production processes.
The home features insulated concrete-form basement walls, prefabricated floor systems, and panelized building that improves production. It has a graywater system, sealed ducts, soy-based expanding foam insulation, and tankless water heaters, among many other green and sustainable features. In fact, the house meets the requirements for both the LEED and Energy Star rating systems.
“The house is a concept house so we realize that no builder will be able to include all of these in a single house,” Blanford admits. “But there is enough here that builders can learn from.”
Designed by Silver Spring, Md.–based architectural firm Torti Gallas and Partners, the 2,100-square-foot house will eventually be sold. HUD's next PATH Concept Home will be built in Charleston, S.C., and will focus on withstanding hurricanes, flooding, and termites.
For more information on the concept home, visit www.pathnet.org.