Ultimate Performance Home Project

Savings before Certifications

If you’re confused by all the Green certifications and programs out there you’re not alone. As a 20+ year energy management systems specialist, I’ve watched the commercialization of the Green industry get in the way of what really counts–saving energy costs and improving performance.

We simply call it “Success” and we don’t settle for less.

For the past five years I’ve been building homes with new homeowners and builders. Because I’m involved in so many aspects of the home, and because of my background as a Mechanical and Automation Engineer, I’ve developed quite an experience base to draw upon.

Homeowners are faced with an immense amount of data and are expected to make informed decisions. Builders are expected to provide most of this knowledge but they have other priorities which include scheduling, building code management, coordination of all the trades, and daily issue resolution. Individual contractors have their own goals and experience levels and often apply the same old solutions as that’s what is most efficient for them.

People often ask me why I don’t build homes and my answer is simple “Who would I get to do all the design and electronics?” It takes a team to create a truly unique and outstanding home. The Homeowner, Architect, Builder, Interior Designer, Technology Conultant, and Construction Trades all have key roles and responsibilities.

Unfortunately, the Technology Consultant role is often overlooked, their narrow focus causes their own conflicting objectives, or the Architect, Builder, or other trades are inflexible. For the Ultimate Performance Home project, my goal is to demonstrate how an experienced and diverse Technology Consultant can help produce an outstanding design. In the end, we’ll show that this design can be built by an experienced builder and the trade contractors can expand their horizons a little while still earning a living.

Goals
The goal of the UPH project is to design, build, and document a luxury home with minimal environmental impact.

Everything from the efficiency of the living space, to the construction materials, to the energy consumption of the home systems is considered.

The key phrase is “balance without compromise”. The goal is to demonstrate that amazingly comfortable, beautiful, luxurious living spaces can be attained with minimal impact on the environment (and maybe even improve it!)

This is not a “Concept Home” but a real home that anyone would be excited to live in. The ideal situation is a custom home created for a specific homeowner as the funding needs to come from somewhere!

Project Goal Summary (not in any priority order)
- Efficient Occupant Design: Room layout, kitchen design, storage options, entertainment spaces.
- Advanced Conveniences and Occupant Comfort: “Smart Home” features for ease of operation, entertainment, safety, and security.
- Operational Efficiency: Take advantage of Solar, clean air technogolgies, Energy Star, LEED, and other high-efficicency solutions.
- Low Maintenance: Materials and systems should require minimal maintenance
- Cost-Effective: The project budget should be within 10-20% of a typical home in this quality range ($500k-$1MM depending on region. Homeowner may dictate other price range)
- K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) Simple operation, simple maintenance, simple project management.

Additional Goals
- Educate builders and contractors.
- Educate home buyers.
- Educate Architects, Interior Designers, and Decorators.

Resources
Ultimate Home Design Magazine.
LEED / U.S. GBC.
Green Business Directory and Reviews - My Home Green Pages
BAGI IndyGreenBuild Site

Interested?
Contact me if you are interested in getting involved in any part of this project.