The Zero Energy Home

Zero net energy (ZNE) homes are no longer a dream but a reality. The technology has finally caught up with the desire of all home owners to have a comfortable modern home with all the amenities we have grown accustomed to. The secret is in proper planning, construction methods, materials and craftsmanship used to assemble these homes.

It has often been said that “You will pay off your mortgage some day but the energy company will be there every month to collect their fee”. With this in mind why not build your new home in such a way that the drain on your resources will be limited to the mortgage alone and exclude the energy company altogether. This will, of course, raise the cost of construction and monthly mortgage payment but the one fixed payment offsets the typical energy bill which is bound to rise.  Scrupulous attention to site, design, material selection (construction materials, fixtures, fittings, mechanical systems and appliances) and craftsmanship is essential for your ZNE home.

Some benefits of building a ZNE house include:

  • Zero energy consumption and zero carbon emissions.
  • Sealed envelope with low infiltration and ex-filtration.
  • Better indoor air quality due to controlled whole house ventilation.
  • Take advantage of existing State and Federal programs to lower initial construction costs.
  • Noise from outside is minimized.

Custom Home Designs has always considered the importance of energy efficiency in designing new homes but never to this level. We have recently gone to the next step of design and started working directly with sub-contractors to monitor, educate and endorse these practices in the field. This has included air sealing homes and having energy raters preform blower door tests to insure the envelope has been sealed properly prior to the installation of insulation.

We have become more involved with heat and air conditioning sizing (unit size and duct sizing) by means of site specific Manual-J calculations and specific installation techniques to lower the heat (gain and loss) loads of houses along with addressing air leakage from air distribution systems.

We are working with solar electric sub-contractors to help achieve the ZNE home and taking advantage of the awesome Louisiana and Federal tax incentives available to homeowners. These programs have helped many new and existing homeowners get closer to a ZNE home than ever before.

This approach to new home construction, although not mainstream, is starting to get some traction in the market place and Custom Home Designs is anxious to help future homeowners reach energy independence.

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Custom Home Designs, LLC
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Phone: 1.225.921.5875