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In the living room, south-facing windows capture winter heat. Biowall, in the niche at right, filters indoor air.


The only entrant with a garage, this unique amenity’s added cost likely kept Purdue from sharing top-affordability honors with Parsons NS Stevens and Team Belgium, which had estimated construction costs under $250,000.


“Purdue’s use of a traditional design and construction approach demonstrated high-tech energy and control systems for a sophisticated, yet conventional market,” said affordability Juror Matt Hansen, partner at Licata Hansen Associates Architecture, Reno, Nev. “The general public would not perceive it as a solar home.”


The design includes a 1,086-sq.-ft wrap-around porch and clerestory windows. The porch helps minimize the visual impact of three dozen 240-watt mono-crystalline photovoltaic panels (9 kW system). Those clerestory windows both ventilate and illuminate the two-bedroom home. A 19 SEER heat pump cools the home when needed. The water heater heat pump uses much less electricity than a typical water heater.


The living area biowall deploys vertical greenery such as philodendron, set in a niche, to naturally filter air of harmful volatile organic compounds. The team suggests that the biowall grabs various VOCs, including formaldehyde and benzene.


INhome’s estimated construction cost is just under $260,000, including its large porch decks and garage—not much above the two entries that captured first place in affordability —because they had estimated construction costs less than $250,000 (the cutoff amount to be considered affordable). The home’s key eco-friendly feature is a technology that’s been around for decades: structural insulated panels. Because of the use of those panels, INhome is designed to be constructed in six self-contained sections, either on or off site, and can reportedly be assembled in a single day. GB


 


GREEN FEATURES
> Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs are the key to this strong, tight, well-insulated home. Built in six sections, the home can be assembled in a day.
> Passive Design. South-facing windows with overhangs invite the sun in during winter and keep it out during summer. Operable windows and clerestory windows near the roof peak provide natural ventilation when open.
> PV Panels. The 9 kW system’s 36 240-watt monocrystalline photovoltaic panels power the home.
> Heat Pump. Rated at 19 SEER, the heat pump provides efficient cooling when needed. A separate hot-water heat pump uses ambient air inside the home to help heat water
> Biowall. A self-watering wall of low-light plants set in a niche filters the air, removing harmful compounds such as formadehyde and benzene.


11 www.greenbuildermag.com 01.2012

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