February 15, 2019
Writer: Jessica Morgenthaler
In the town of Victor Idaho a group of construction and designing companies are collaborating to create a small community of net-zero energy efficient housing. This means they have the ability to offset their energy usage, once solar panels are installed. It has the capability to produce more energy than it uses.
“It’s amazing to me, without being fanatical about it, it’s just trying to be conscientious about how to do things better and just pay attention to what we’re doing,” says Brady Barkbull, the owner of Wydaho Construction and the construction manager for the Cloverleaf Cottage Court housing project, “With Lidsey, with Fox Creek Heating, with all the team members involved have just collaborated on, how can we make these buildings to be better to be more efficient, be more sustainable and still try to do that on a budget.”
The houses are built to keep warm air from escaping, and bring fresh warmed air in.
“What this couch is made of what’s on the walls and the paint, the chemicals that are in the cabinetry and the stain and the gules. That all stays in your house,” says one of the designers for the project, Lindsey Love of Love Schack, describing more about the air quality within the home, “Often it’s the case that it’s worse in your house than it is outside, so we want to make sure that, that’s not the case in these homes and we’ve incorporated a good mechanical ventilation system that it’s bringing in fresh air and preheating that air with the warm air that’s already in the home before it blows it isn’t the home. So it’s bring in fresh air but making sure that it’s not taking a ton of energy to do it.”
The homes use Mitsubishi appliances that are energy efficient and work quietly. Systems run throughout the house without being noticed.
The heating and cooling units are all controlled by a tablet with easy adjustment features. It also has connection capabilities to a smart phone, so it can be controlled no matter the location.
After winning a competition from Mitsubishi, this project was featured, last week, on the show Design Spaces.
The homes are just about finished and are set to go on sale within the year. The crew hopes this design and model will create a trend to make better homes and to think twice about what goes into them. They designed it specifically so it can be easily replicated with hopes to expand the project.
“I’ve never looked at it that were building this green or sustainable and green,” says Jeff Deutschendorf, of Fox Creek Heating, “It’s just that, at the end of the day were building a house and providing an energy efficient house that will save people money in the long run, and be a more comfortable house.”