When it comes to green living, the coasts tend to get all of the credit and big projects. But Hibbs Homes, in partnership with Verdatek Solutions, is proud to be in building project that is changing all of that - Active House USA. An innovative green building prototype home, Active House USA is the first of it’s kind in the US and is being built right in the heart of the Midwest, in the St Louis suburb of Webster Groves, MO.
While up until now the Midwest might not be the epicenter for green innovations, it is actually an ideal location to prototype the Active House specification for the country because of St Louis’s mixed climate zone. The home is designed for high performance in both hot, humid summers and frigid, icy winters. This means the prototype will translate well both in the north and south, and more consistent climates around the country.
Using the Active House specifications developed in Europe and used for homes around the world, we are working with some of the top companies in green building to design and build the home, which will also be certified under four prestigious, US green building standards including the ANSI-700 National Green Building Standard, EPA Indoor Air Quality, Energy Star, and Builder’s Challenge initiatives. By taking a holistic approach to the building and design, and by incorporating so many respected certification systems, Active House USA is helping to promote and advance all of these standards.
Active House USA takes a holistic approach to energy efficiency and whole house systems integration. The home’s solar orientation and the systems contained within actually produce more energy than is used via lighting and solar products that harness natural and free energy sources.
The home also includes many of the top-of-the-line green building technologies and products that are innovating the market today and has incorporated a unique systems based approach into the overall design of the building, making it a sort of show house and proving ground for what high performance and green building is capable of.
The home’s location in an historic district of Webster Groves, MO means that we also had to blend seamlessly with the character and charm of the surrounding, century old homes. A challenge which means that, unlike the other Active Houses around the world, the energy efficiency and systems could not dictate the aesthetics of the home, but instead we had to make a traditional home an Active House. So this very advanced home has all the charm of an old home, but far out performs it’s neighbors in terms of energy usage and indoor air quality.
And even after the last hammer is swung, Active House USA will be innovating green building. Homeowners, David and Thuy Smith, will take up residence in this custom home in late 2012, and have agreed to allow the University of Missouri’s Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium to monitor the home for the first year they are living there. This data collection represents one of the first times that the benefits of green building will be documented and proven out via statistics.
Hibbs Homes is proud to partner with Verdatek Solutions and other industry leaders to bring such an exciting project right into the heart of the US. And we are excited to see how this home will continue to impact the green building industry both locally and nationally for years to come.