Unity Homes is taking its integrated design and assembly process called montage to new levels in creating the 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home demonstration project. The 1,620-square-foot net zero-energy demonstration home--a partnership between Hanley Wood Media, Unity Homes, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2C)--will be on display at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo this November in Washington, DC.
Deep into the design and creating the final specs, and with construction set to begin in October, team members are laser-focused on the most important aspects of the project: design details, performance parameters, and product selections that will help us achieve LEED v4 Platinum, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense certifications.
At the heart of Unity’s montage for the Greenbuild Unity Home are a team of experts addressing the design, performance, and certification standards, and all related decisions central to our mission. This team includes Unity’s in-house architecture and engineering staff, along with the company’s energy and sustainability specialist Rheannon Demond who leads what I’m calling our Sustainability Team.
Other key sustainability players? Stacy Glass from C2C oversees participation by companies with either C2C-certified products or that have secured C2C’s new Material Health Certificate; Maureen Mahle and Karla Butterfield from Steven Winter Associates manage our LEED certification and Energy Star documentation as well as certifications for both EPA programs; and Rob Moylan and Meghan O’Malley from SmithGroup JJR are driving the decisions on sustainable interiors.
Given the expertise and talent on this team, montage has new depth and meaning that should serve as a model for all builders. Every decision that Unity must make that could affect energy performance, comfort and health criteria, and sustainability is evaluated by the experts on this team. This includes everything from building science to lighting design, from framing details to glazing options, and especially every product and system considered for installation. Every decision must pass through the filter created specifically for this project, and through an evaluation process created by this team.
It is a level of rigor that requires new levels of awareness, research, and analysis. But it is a process that, once established, holds the key to success for high-performance home builders (or any builder for that matter) looking for ways to improve their products and processes.