Solar-Powered ABC Green Home 2.0 Is a Model for the Future — And the Future Is Now

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As a model of a net-zero energy home, the ABC Green Home 2.0 is pushing sustainable boundaries by including more solar than most green homes, among a number of features. The model is intended to show that it’s affordable to build a solar-powered, sustainable home using available and recycled materials.

Homebuilders are looking for new ways to compete in today’s market. Buyers are seeking more efficient, healthier homes. Enter the ABC Green Home 2.0.

This model high-performance home is especially relevant in California, a state that’s looking to make net-zero energy use mandatory by 2020. The home and its sustainability template will show how to achieve this goal now. Construction on the home is set to begin in Walnut, California.

The 2.0 home is pushing sustainable boundaries in many areas — including, of course, solar power. PetersenDean Roofing & Solar is supplying 8.5 KW of solar for the home and a cool roof from Boral. This is quite a bit more solar than the average 3.5 KW on other green homes.

The home is designed to be smart and sustainable. It demonstrates that a solar-powered, sustainable home can be built using available and recycled materials at a cost that is competitive with conventional housing.

The idea is to extend on the original award-winning ABC Green Home in Irvine, California. That home was a great success, living up to its name — ABC stands for affordable, buildable, and certified.

“Our ABC Green Homes represent the very best of American design, technology and construction, on an affordable on any lot footprint,” said project developer Nick Slevin. “These homes represent an ideal template to promote significant and positive change in the sustainable housing marketplace.”

Upon completion, the home will be open to the building industry and the general public for six months. It will be used as a classroom to educate builders, architects, designers, and others about energy-efficient construction techniques. The home will eventually be made available to a the family of a disabled U.S. veteran through Habitat for Humanity on a lot donated by the City of Walnut.

Architect Manny Gonzalez and his team designed the home. A 2400-square foot plan will accommodate multi-generational living and offers “smart home technology,” which automates a number of the home’s basic systems, including the electrical, lighting, security, and communication systems. This is the latest trend in homebuilding and one that fits well with solar power.

“Being able to demonstrate that you can build a home that uses Net-Zero energy is important, but being able to do it affordably makes the message even more compelling for the home building industry,” said Gonzalez.

“There’s a misconception in the housing business that green homebuilding is daunting,” said Slevin. “We are building this home out of materials you can get anywhere. It is designed to be easily built by a homebuilder on a lot anywhere in the country, using modern sustainable products and practices. There are few if any, affordable, entry-level, certified green homes being built by production homebuilders for sale in America so the home is expected to serve as a laboratory for design and construction of future sustainable housing.”

Demonstrating the best green practices in the industry, the home will be certified by six agencies, including LEED Platinum for Homes certified, Cal Green, Build it Green, California Advanced Homes, ENERGY STAR ,and NAHB Green. “We chose the top six most commonly used rating systems that a builder would typically use themselves to independently certify that their homes are being properly constructed, sustainable and built green. Any builder can copy this model on any lot in America,” said Slevin.

The solar panels will be on the rear roof, to improve the home’s appearance. We hope that solar will soon be considered beautiful and something to display with pride — maybe for the ABC Green Home 3.0?