Image 1: The 100K project was designed to have a widely open concept. The home includes 2 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The 850 sq ft floor area allows for an open interior feel with maximum utilization of every inch.
Ohio's Most Efficient Rental
By: Luke Langhals
When Athens, Ohio based environmental building advocate Jason Morosko and his business partner Jeremy Morosko, set out to rebuild a simple double wide rental property; they began with the idea of combining energy efficiency with affordability. Jason wanted to replace the outdated structure with an upgraded home - combining energy efficiency benefits alongside profitable rental investment. Jason’s groundbreaking career in the field of energy efficient ventilation has given him many opportunities to work with North America’s most progressive builders. However, the overlying question has always held true; Can super insulated construction be achieved below $100 per square foot? Can these healthy, durable, and nearly zero energy homes be built with affordability in mind and how can we prove that Passive style construction is meant for everyone. MANY people argue that super-efficient construction is really meant for the rich….it is not designed for the lower class and it cannot be achieved by homeowners with construction budgets below $100 per square foot.
Every new home must factor in many parameters when beginning construction. Site layout, budget, design, etc. However, what if we factor in a 75% reduction in energy use – but WITHOUT changing the budget? Most people would call this impossible -- but the simple addition of building science can make any home energy efficient. Jason chose to follow the Passive House methodology for his newest project. He had previously built his own Passive House and worked on many others during his 15 plus years as UltimateAir’s chief engineer (who manufactures ventilation systems for energy efficient projects). The Passive House design involves super insulated walls, roof, and floor. Creating a thermos like building envelope which increases resident comfort and lowers the structures heating/cooling needs. Next step is adding triple pane windows rather than the “flimsy” code required windows. These superior windows prevent cold drafts from reaching occupants and rarely feel cold to the touch (even when the outside temperature is far below freezing). After the home is significantly air tight, a quality ventilation system is installed. Installing an Energy Recovery Ventilation system allows Jason to insure fresh air is pumped into all bedrooms in every SEASON! Dirty air is also continuously removed from the kitchen and bathroom locations. The addition of an ERV unit produces an interior condition which is fresh, healthy, and comfortable. The combination of super insulation, quality windows, and recovery ventilation leads to a heating/cooling load which is 90% lower than standard construction.
Image 2: The exterior of the home includes 4” of rigid foam insulation underneath the exterior metal siding. This is paired with 6” interior wall studs which are filled with Blown in cellulose. 10” of total wall insulation!
In the end, we are now lucky enough to be able to see a shining example of affordability combined with energy efficiency. Every new home in North America COULD be constructed to this standard…. if only homeowners would become more educated in the construction methods that are readily available. Here we can view a real example of an affordable net zero ready home; with total energy bills averaging below $50.00 per month!
Image 3: The interior is designed to be open and freely customizable. The project used many windows connecting occupants to the natural environment and wood finishes to provide a natural feel.
Project Website Link: http://sustainablepath.us/modular/