oise’s First Verified Net Zero Home
Flynner Building Company's first net zero project is among the nation's most energy-efficient homes ever built - the first verified Net-Zero Home within Idaho. This home will actually generate as much energy as it uses, delivering on the “net zero” concept of no overall energy consumption and eliminating utility bills for the homeowner.
In Idaho, solar energy represents one of the most abundant sources of renewable energy currently available. The Net Zero Home features a tight building envelop to ensure that the energy generated by the eight kilowatt solar system will be utilized as efficiently as possible to reach net zero energy use.
The home is connected to Idaho Power's (IDP) energy system using their Net Metering program, which allows customers to install solar on the property and connect to IDP's electrical grid. The purpose of the program is to enable customers to offset their electricity usage – homes generating more electricity than they use can earn a credit on their utility bill.
Flynner Building Company chooses to certify all homes, including the Net Zero project, under the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building and Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes programs. The NAHB program utilizes a third-party verification process that guarantees that the homeowner receives exactly what was promised – a healthy, environmentally responsible, and more economical home.
NAHB's program incorporates a House as a System' approach to areas of environmental concern into each home. Combined with Northwest ENERGY STAR, these features include:
Northwest ENERGY STAR:
National Association of Home Builders:
A Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) is an internationally recognized measurement of home energy performance that reflects how efficient a home is relative to a new home built to current energy codes (a HERS Index of 100). A HERS verification consists of the evaluation, diagnostic testing, cost-effective recommendations and work specifications of each home.
When it comes to the HERS Index, the lower the better. An ENERGY STAR home is at least 15% more efficient than a code-built house, and therefore would have a HERS Index of 85. A typical Flynner Home is twice as efficient as an ENERGY STAR home, and therefore would have a HERS Index of 70.
The Net Zero home had an OFFICIAL HERS SCORE OF -12 (THAT’S NEGATIVE TWELVE!). This means the project exceeded its goal of reaching Net Zero. With proper education and energy conscious purchases and behaviors, the homeowner should enjoy $0 utility bills and a potential utility credit year after year.
Through the Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes program standards alone, Flynner Building Company built 17 ENERGY STAR qualified homes, including the Net Zero project, have kept 76,500 lbs of greenhouse gases out of the air each year. And as a result of designing and constructing better built homes, these homes have an increased lifespan which reduces the environmental impact.
Consumer Awareness for Green Building
In addition to the direct cost and environmental benefits, through the Boise Net Zero project, Flynner Building Company and their partners were able to provide mass exposure and awareness for green building and better choices in everyday living to the entire Idaho community and beyond. Open houses and events that featured home tours of the Net Zero project were held regularly before the home raffle to educate consumers on the energy-saving features of the home.
Media coverage from the project further promoted this better choices' concept by showing builders and consumers what can be accomplished through smart design and thoughtful product selection. Coverage included radio, print, TV, and internet, resulting in over 900 attendees touring the home at the very first Open House in May and setting a new bar for green building.
Additionally, with support from Northwest ENERGY STAR and Idaho Power, Boise Green Home Guides' were created and distributed to over 10,000 people through Lowe's and other retail distribution points. These guides walked the consumer through the Net Zero home and provided them with ways that they can make changes in their own daily lives to be more sustainably conscious.
St. Jude's Dream Home
This initial Net Zero Project was the first Flynner home built for the St. Jude's Dream Home Program. Created in 1991, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is the largest single event fundraiser for St. Jude nationwide – having raised more than $173 million for the hospital to date. Builders, vendors and sponsors donate labor, materials and cash to construct a new home which is later raffled off. The humanitarian campaign creates a unique promotional initiative based around community interaction that is truly incomparable.
The 2010 Boise St. Jude Dream Home was designed, built, and verified to reach net zero energy consumption by Flynner Building Company. Simply stated, the home will produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of each year. To achieve this pinnacle level of green building, every component within the home was specified to reduce the overall energy required for operation.
The Net Zero home, built by Flynner Building Company with support from the Department of Energy's Building America program, is designed to show how smart building choices can result in a home that minimizes energy use while maximizing comfort and style. Located in Willowgreens, a sustainable 100% ENERGY STAR® community in Boise on the Boise River Greenbelt, the community is just a minute's walk to the Willow Lane Sports Complex and Park.
Dedicated Boise Net Zero Dream Home Microsite/blog:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
Boise Green Guide Efficient Healthy Homes for Happy Healthy Families':
GREEN BUILDING SPECIFICATIONS
The net zero home features advanced building techniques and products including:
ENERGY STAR Appliances
ENERGY STAR Lighting
Windows + Doors
Heating + Cooling System