Building a Net Zero Energy Custom Home in Hunt Country
Homeowners were once deterred from going with a Net Zero Energy (NZE) approach to their custom home builds due to the expense and uncertainty of a relatively new process. Now, we have years of data and experience that make it less costly and easier to accomplish.
Going the NZE route in a custom home build is not only beneficial for the homeowners—when more of us go net zero we help our cities become cleaner, vibrant and thriving while securing a low-carbon future.
Did You Know: Residential buildings account for 21% of total U.S. energy consumption
– Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Components of a Net Zero Energy (NZE) Home
An NZE home is designed and built for the highest level of energy efficiency, so the anticipated annual net energy consumption of the home is zero. This “net” is calculated over the course of a year—meaning a house will use more energy than it generates in the winter months but generate more energy than it uses in the summer months; overall making the balance zero.
These are high-performance homes with incredible energy-saving features that their on-site renewable energy systems offset demand from the grid.
Cost vs Benefit of a Custom-Built NZE Home
The cost of building an NZE home continues to decline as the market matures and grows. According to the Zero Energy Project, an NZE-ready home costs 4% more than a typical custom build while a full zero home (one with solar panels) costs 8% more.
The general idea is that by investing more in the home with energy efficiency in mind, more will be saved later in typical energy costs—and possibly costing less to own in the long run.
Inspired Design and Architectural Appeal in an NZE Home Build
Renewable energy homes can be somewhat uninspired in design, usually only focusing on the front façade to save on cost. If you are investing in your dream home you need to find an expert team who can fulfill your net-zero requirements while keeping design and architectural appeal in mind throughout the process.
At Alair Homes Hunt Country, we make sure our clients’ NZE elements look as perfect as they are efficient. Our designs consider all sides and elevations of the house and ensure they are attractive and architecturally appealing from any view—using interesting roof lines, changing planes, having bump-ins and recesses. Just because net zero is the goal does not mean you can’t achieve the look and personality you dream of for your home.
Alair Homes Hunt Country NZE Home Highlight
This Alair-built NZE home has performed exceptionally well over the seasons with a HERS score of 2. This is the measure of the energy demand of a home—the average home built to code will baseline at 100; an energy efficient home will score below 70; a very energy efficient home will score 40-70. But because of the assemblies, materials, equipment, air sealing, insulation, etc., this home only requires 2% of the energy demand of a home built to code today.
For much of the year, it is a net energy producer thanks to a 20kW solar array. On average, our client is spending about $20/month on energy. More importantly, they are very happy with their home and love entertaining family and friends in a home that was custom designed for them.
What Does Your Dream NZE Home Build Look Like?
Interested in building a custom NZE home? We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. Contact us today.