, the public-private partnership between Actus Lend Lease (Actus)
and the U.S. Army, today announced the completion of the first two zero-energy homes on a military installation. A design approach focused on energy efficiency and solar thermal energy production will result in a home that can function on 54% less energy than a home of comparable size constructed using today’s building standards.
The energy savings is equivalent to diverting 16 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the environment each year, which equals the same amount of greenhouse gases eliminated by recycling 5.4 tons of waste annually. The remaining energy needs for the home will be supplied by roof mounted photovoltaic solar panels, resulting in a home that produces as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis.
As a result of building the homes to the rigorous zero-energy standards, Campbell Crossing will realize a cost savings of approximately $1,041 per home per year. Money saved will be returned to Campbell Crossing to help fund future projects. If these savings were projected for all of the 4,457-homes at Campbell Crossing, long-term benefits would include an annual savings of up to $4.6 million. In addition, a reduction in water consumption of 27% and a savings of an estimated 7,300 gallons of hot water is also expected annually for each zero-energy home. The improvements in water consumption were achieved by incorporating simple design concepts into the homes plumbing system to provide shorter and more direct paths for hot water distribution and total water consumption.
“Actus Lend Lease is committed to providing Soldiers and their families with quality homes that are not only comfortable, but are environmentally sustainable. This innovative initiative once again demonstrates our commitment to do just that,” says Marc Sierra, Actus Lend Lease managing director. “As we monitor the success of the zero-energy homes at Campbell Crossing we’ll continue to work closely with our partner, the Department of Defense, to identify future opportunities to expand sustainability efforts throughout our programs.”
In partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Actus Lend Lease will compare performance of the homes against two non-zero-energy homes to measure and ensure maximum efficiency of energy and water usage. Key findings will be collected and distributed to the Department of Defense and made available to the private construction sector. Lessons learned and best practices from the project will provide valuable information for future zero-energy projects.
Actus is also pursuing LEED Platinum certification for the two newly constructed net zero-energy homes. The LEED Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
provides a suite of stringent standards that must be met for environmentally sustainable construction. A Platinum rating is the highest possible achievement under the USGBC LEED rating system.
Many of the zero-energy related design features will contribute to the homes LEED Platinum certification; however, the Platinum certification required a significant amount of focus on other sustainable design and construction practices. Emphasis was placed on site selection, community connectivity, construction waste diversion and recycling, efficient building framing to reduce lumber waste, the use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and finishes and mechanical ventilation to improve indoor air quality, and the use of certified wood products obtained from suppliers that with sustainable forestry practices. All contributed to the final product and to the high performance rating for the structures.
Resident education is also a critical component to Actus’ approach to zero-energy. A display monitor in each home will provide “real time” energy monitoring, allowing residents to view and understand how their behaviors and habits affect each system as well as the energy profile of the entire home. Water usage sensors will help residents manage consumption. In addition, Campbell Crossing will provide residents with educational materials for living a zero-energy lifestyle and request their participation in a monthly utility usage review.
Using a grant from the Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Transfer Certification Program, Actus Lend Lease utilized the expertise of some of the nation’s most respected sustainable and high-performance environmental building planners and performance monitoring experts when designing and building the homes, including the National Association of Home Builders Research Laboratory and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.