Harrisonburg Zero Energy Home – Update
Progress continues on our Zero-Energy home that is under construction on Willow Run Road just outside of Harrisonburg. This home will produce the amount of energy needed for operations on a net basis. In other words, during the daylight hours, the solar pv array will produce enough energy back into the grid that the house can be powered via the grid at night. In order to make this design affordable, we super insulated the walls of the structure.
We decided that Insulated Concrete Forms was the best wall system for the structure to reduce heating and cooling demand. This is also a very quiet wall system and durable for a very long time. The insulation is on the inside and outside of the concrete wall. This is air tight and continuous insulation making a high performance wall assembly.
We went to visit the site on the day that they were pouring the first level concrete walls. It is an excellent learning opportunity to see the builders in action and hear their concerns about the assembly.
The system is fairly simple to stack. The key is to reinforce in the right places and pour at the right speed to avoid “blow outs” during construction. This job was flawless while we were there. The builder took extra care around the angled walls to keep everything tight and straight.
The basement walls and workshop under the basement are not conditioned spaces so they do not require the ICF walls.
The steep site allowed for the garage to enter on the first floor level making the entire house accessible if that is ever a concern in the future.