This month, the first affordable “smart home” to achieve a HERS 0 rating—meaning, a net-zero energy efficiency rating in “real-estate speak”—and to be located in a blustery cold, dry climate, was offered for sale in Herriman, Utah, according to the developer, Garbett Homes, and the intelligent home technology and solar installation company, Vivint.
Net-zero homes have been built before in areas designated by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as Climate Zone 5 (cold and dry), but have only achieved a HERS rating of 5 at best, and could not be reproduced at an affordable price point. The new non-custom, solar-powered, single-family home, called The Zero Home, not only is net-zero and smart, but it does it all on a grand scale, with five bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and a four-car garage, including a charging station for an electric vehicle—starting at $350,000.
Garbett Homes’ energy-saving features include spray foam and blown-in insulation, low-E windows, compact fluorescent lighting, super high-efficiency HVAC systems, a HEPA air filtration system, solar water heating, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets. Vivint Solar‘s energy array enables the Energy Star certified Zero Home to generate its own energy, offsetting most or all of a homeowner’s utility bills. That beats the average utility bill for residents in the same neighborhood as The Zero Home, which hovers at about $300 per month.
Image courtesy Garbett Homes
The home also will be equipped with a Vivint home automation and energy management system that incorporates: Vivint Wireless Internet and a new touchscreen panel that features energy analytics; a smart-thermostat, small appliance and lighting controls; automated door locks, video surveillance; and an enhanced security system featuring “Vivint Live,” which provides two-way communication with emergency dispatch professionals in times of distress.
With all of these built-in goodies, the Zero Home qualifies for DOE Challenge Home designation, which recognizes home builders for their leadership constructing zero-energy ready homes that are both energy efficient and include high-end finishes, improved indoor air quality, and greater durability. By meeting the program criteria, DOE Challenge Homes have achieved at least 40 percent to 50 percent more energy efficiency than a typical new home.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the Utah building community join as a leader in green home-building,” said Sam Rashkin, chief architect of the Building Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy. “The collaboration between Vivint and Garbett, which allows the consumer to purchase a truly environmentally friendly home, is a huge milestone—both for Utah and the country.”
“This home is the perfect intersection of innovative and attainable technology,” said Todd Pedersen, CEO of Provo-based Vivint. “It embodies Vivint’s mission to bring … affordable home technology and solar power to the masses, empowering them to live smarter while combating rising energy costs. We have been incredibly successful in reaching these objectives through our relationship with the Department of Energy and partnership with Garbett Homes.”
“This is a watershed project for green building in Utah and across the country,” said Bryson Garbett of Salt Lake City-based Garbett Homes. “Every family deserves energy savings and greater energy independence. With the partnership between two like-minded companies, we want to show that smart homes no longer have to come custom built, with multi-million dollar price tags.”
Edited by Rory J. Thompson