As technology evolves, birthing autonomous cars and watches that can detect blood pressure and possible heart issues, homes have not been left out of the technological loop. Many companies have taken the concept of home and created gadgets and devices to help make a homeowner’s life easier, but few advance the home itself, making it a more energy efficient product. Enter the Pulte prototype Zero Net Energy home in California and witness the marvel of the next generation home.
Pulte Zero Energy homes do not simply involve a network of high powered solar panels on the roof, they change the way the home is built. Every aspect of the home is considered, and innovated to define the most efficient pathway to ZNE with a balance of constructability, cost, and quality.
Let us look at the Pulte ZNE prototype, and explore some of the innovations of the next generation home.
By capturing heat outside of the home, you can enjoy a cooler attic-- a major win for anything you might have stored up there. More importantly though, with a cooler attic, energy is conserved with inside climate control since your HVAC won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable.
Solar panels are installed on the roof to convert energy from the sun to electricity, decreasing reliance on other, non-renewable, energy resources.
You may not think of windows and immediately jump to energy saving, but, a lot of heating and cooling activity happens around this space. From cool air escaping via cracks, to heat coming in from natural sunlight, your windows can really change how much you might need to adjust your HVAC during the year. Low emissivity windows reduce heat transfer from outside, and reduce your energy loss by as much as 30 to 50%.
Thermostat technology has changed a lot over the years, with advances like programmable and dual zone control that helped homeowners improve the efficiency of their system by only running the HVAC when and where it was needed. This worked well, but still required initial set up which couldn’t be changed on the go. Enter today, with wifi-enabled thermostats like Nest or the Honeywell Lyric which allow you to monitor and change the thermostat from your smartphone—even when you’re away from home.
These systems help to ensure comfort at all times, and are considered by many the back bone of the smart home.
Exterior Wall Insulation
Extra insulation provides you with exceptional thermal performance, allowing your home to retain energy. As an added bonus, this extra layer of protection helps to keep outside noise at bay.
Low Flow Toilets and Fixtures
You may not think a lot about your toilets on a daily basis, but, they do play a role in your overall environmental impact. By using low flow toilets and fixtures, your home can save thousands of gallons of water each year, proving that ZNE homes not only save electricity, but also water.
Low VOC Paint/ Tile
As an energy efficient home builder, Pulte also strives to use paints and tiles certified to contain low volatile organic compounds—creating a clean, nontoxic environment that you and your family can enjoy.
High-End Air Filtration and Mechanical Ventilation
By including extra filtration, the ZNE home removes indoor air contaminants, helping protect you from seasonal allergens that can make you miserable. This ventilation can also help you save energy.
The ZNE home also included LED lighting, which not only uses less energy, but produces little to no heat, which can make it easier on your heating and cooling too.
Tankless Hot Water Heater
This helps to save energy by only heating water being used, rather than constantly heating large amounts of water in a tank and eliminates the feared “cold shower” that comes from not having enough hot water!
Induction cooktops use electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans rather than the area or surface underneath them. It also produces less wasted energy while cooking, providing optimal speed, and has a 90% power use efficiency.
As Pulte continues to optimize and perfect Zero Net Energy Homes, we stand as a leading energy efficient home builder in constructing the homes of tomorrow. While not all homes can promise Zero Net, Pulte offers a number of energy saving advantages with each of our homes and stands committed to lowering energy costs for our homeowners. Learn more about our more recent energy efficiency partnership with Georgia Power in Atlanta, and explore our next steps into energy efficient homes and design.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Joshlin Grayson
Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Return Home here.