Breaking Ground...
An Energy Efficient Affordable House Goes Up in Lincoln


Affordable house exterior on December 2, 2004
A unique home is going up in a new development on the southwest edge of Lincoln. What makes this home special?

From the outside, it looks much like neighboring homes: Itís a 1,248 square foot home with a living room featuring a built-in entertainment center, kitchen area with a breakfast bar area, dining room, three bedrooms and two baths.

This home is different in several ways:
  • Itís being used as an on-site training facility and laboratory. During the week of November 2004, Ric Guilbert of Steven Winter Associates used the house for a framing demonstration of Optimum Value Engineering techniques. Optimum Value Engineering is the process of comparing alternative materials and methods to determine the least costly combination that will result in the desired end product. In early December 2004, an on-site training session covering heating, ventilation and air conditioning requirements and proper installation techniques was held for mechanical system installers and Certified Nebraska Green Builders SM.
  • The home is designed to maximize energy efficiency and green building techniques and materials.
  • After the home is completed in February 2005, it will remain vacant as a show home until the Spring Parade of Homes. The homeís energy use will be monitored for up to a year to evaluate the different building techniques utilized.

The poured foundation for the home under construction
Through the U.S. Department of Energyís Building America program and the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Steven Winter Associates is assisting the Nebraska Energy Office in the design and construction of a prototype home that will benchmark energy-efficient, affordable housing in Nebraska. A $99,334 federal grant is providing a portion of the cost of this project.

A Progress Report
Village Addition in Lincoln began in September 2004. Ken Inness of Inness II, a Nebraska Certified Green Builder SM, is constructing the home.

As of December 2004, the foundation, framing, windows, exterior sheathing, weather barrier and siding are in place. Some of the special features of the construction include:

The foundation:

  • Has a poly vapor barrier installed under the slab and is sealed and caulked;
  • Has a water-based, non-leaching damp proofing;
  • Utilized aluminum foundation forms; and
  • Is constructed of concrete that has at least 20 percent flyash, which is a waste product.

The roof framing and exterior wall systems:

  • Utilize optimum value engineering, including floor and ceiling truss systems, which reduce the amount of wood used for framing by more than 30 percent;
  • Have windows located to be shaded on the south side and provide cross ventilation into at least 50 percent of the home;

    • Optimum Value Engineering
      is used in framing
  • Utilized energy trusses that allow attic insulation to be installed its full depth over the exterior walls;
  • Used oriented strand board, which is composed of waste wood products, as the exterior sheathing;
  • Used locally produced brick, which reduces transportation energy;
  • Used roof ridge vents and perforated eave vents that utilize natural stack effect to reduce heat build-up in the attic during the summer months; and
  • Have a 30-year warranty roof to help extend the life of the roof.

The vinyl windows are Low-E coated and argon filled.

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