New American Home flips the dream of urban living

The New American Home was built to achieve “emerald” certification of the National Green Building Standard and meet Energy Star and net-zero status.

The house will incorporate LG solar panels (NeON2 V5 panels with Enphase IQ 7+ Microinverters), which are projected to meet all electric energy needs of the residence.

The house has a light-colored stone veneer exterior to help reflect the harsh Florida sun, and large overhangs shield the dwelling.

Phantom Screens’ retractable motorized screens, which have a PVC coating, were used on the terrace and there are solar shades on the windows.

For the exterior walls, the builders used a new product from Fi-Foil Co. Inc. called FlexFoam on the masonry block behind the drywall furring strips, then added a layer of the company’s M-Shield for added insulation.

For the frame walls, the builders used Demilec Inc. spray foam insulation topped with Fi-Foil’s HY-Fi hybrid insulation system to create a higher R-value.

The Demilec spray foam insulation also was used between the floor systems and attic space to provide a very insulated shell prior to the drywall going up.

The builders said their last step in achieving energy efficiency was Aeroseal LLC’s Aerobarrier, a water-soluble organic compound that reduces air leaks.

The home’s HERS Index, without the use of a photovoltaic solar system, is 46, which is 54 percent more efficient than the construction of the average new home, according to Drew Smith, chief operating officer of Two Trails Inc., a sustainable building consulting firm.

For the index rating, lower is better. When the 40 solar panels are connected, the HERS Index will drop to a minus-16 score, Smith said.

“That’s phenomenal for a house of this size in this area,” Smith added during the panel talk. “…This home should create enough energy for no energy bills or low energy bill.”

Overall, construction of the 2021 New American Home was “an incredible experience,” not only in terms of new products and best practices, but also “current needs of everyday life,” according to Kean officials.

The architect’s website sums up the project like this: “While the footprint of the New American Home 2021 may be small, the many features and products used throughout unite to create a home full of energy and excitement for the future.”

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