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Lessons Learned from Building St. Louis’s Most Energy Efficient Home

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By Kim Hibbs, Certified Green Home Builder

After ten months of construction, the ribbon was cut on Proud Green Home St. Louis in mid-February.  This beautiful home is truly a standard in green home building with certifications and verifications including Energy Star, EPA’s Indoor Air Plus and Water Sense, DOE’s Zero Energy and RESNET.

After the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the 4,000-square custom home, those involved in the project gathered for a reception and banquet to celebrate.  I looked around the room and saw the best of the best in high performance construction, and that’s when it hit me. I realized that this is not only an incredibly special home, but that it was filled with the best of the best in the our industry – professionals that were driven to help educate others about high performance home building, who wanted to lead by example with this project.

The project was born out of serendipitous circumstances. One year ago, Proud Green Home celebrated their first completed project with Proud Green Home at Serenbe, Georgia. Project Manager/Consultant Matt Belcher of Verdatek Solutions was in attendance that day, and came back to St. Louis eager to bring their concept to the area.

IMG_7778A Proud Green Partnership

Around that same time, we met a family that was relocating to Missouri from Texas. They knew they wanted to build a new home – and they were determined to build one that was healthy for their family, as their middle child suffered from asthma and allergies. They couldn’t risk purchasing an existing house that might have mold, moisture or other air quality issues. They were also looking for a home that was efficient, more durable, which would require less maintenance than a traditional home.  Little did they know what we had in mind.  We told them about the Proud Green Home opportunity and they were all in.

In the end, the family has a wonderful new home and our industry had a wonderful educational opportunity. We have been able to share our knowledge about home building science, and energy efficient home building with our vendor partners and others from our around the Midwest in order to promote better building for a better future.

Sharing High Performance Building Education

Missouri's Best Energy Efficient Home Builder St Louis Floor Plans St Louis Proud Green Home

The construction process was well documented by our marketing partner ProudGreenHome.com through blogs, pictures and videos. It was an incredible learning opportunity for all involved. Before the drywall phase of construction, we held a “Muddy Boots Tour”, and once completed an “Industry Day” and general “Open House”.  Many of our sponsors and vendors were on hand to show and tell visitors more about this house, and their approach to helping us create the most energy efficient home in Missouri. We even had a class from the University of Missouri attend!

Education is the key to understanding high performance construction.  Many believe they can’t afford to build an energy efficient home, or they don’t understand the benefits of building in this way. However, most people also change their minds when they learn more about it.

That is why we took the opportunity to use Proud Green Homes St. Louis as an education tool, and thanks to all of our amazing partners, we were able to share our process every step of the way. Proud Green Home CEO Bob Fincher and his team are dedicated to high performance education, and we were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them.

To Bob, his team and our sponsors we say thank you.  It’s been an educational experience we’ll never forget and one that will continue on proudgreenhome.com for months to continue.

We’d would like to thank those sponsors who participated in the Proud Green Home St. Louis, who helped us to build a beautiful, durable energy efficient home that this family will enjoy for many years to come:

  • LG – appliance and electronics
  • Marvin – Integrity Windows
  • Dow Building Solutions – Insulation package
  • Mattingly – Lumber, Millwork and Wall Panels
  • Huber – ZIP System Sheathing and Advantec Subfloor
  • Boral – Interior and exterior brick and stone
  • Banjamin Obdyke – Home Slicker Rainscreen
  • Cree – LED Lightinng
  • STEP Warmfloor – Radiant underfloor heating
  • GeoComfort – Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Kohler – Low flow plumbing fixtures
  • Zehnder America – Energy Recovery Ventilation
  • ACT D’MAND – Kontrol Systems
  • KleenWrap – Subfloor construction Barrier
  • EcoDrain – Hot water recovery system

Below are pictures from the finished home. The final design was dictated by the family for whom we built this home. The design choices are reflective of their design preferences, and their lifestyle – as any good custom home should be. Each home we build is at the very least more energy efficient than you’d find with any other new construction builder in our area. We can also build to Net Zero or truly off-grid standards as well. The level of energy efficiency in each home is dictated by the preferences and priorities of our clients.

 

 


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