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Symphony Earthcraft Demonstration Home



INNOVATIONS

INNOVATIONS

A MODEL OF RESOURCE EFFICIENCY TO FOLLOW

Goals of Innovation: To ensure that the goals of the company are maintained.

To provide small businesses (trades) with professional and quality control training.

Description: Addison Homes strives to be a model builder for the community and for their hired hands. A quality control checklist, including the resource efficient goals of the home, was developed for the use of the supervisors. The checklist is provided to each subcontractor as an indication of what is expected. Training is provided to familiarize tradesmen with techniques that are new to them. They are held to strict compliance of the checklist and goals.

Obstacles: Addison Homes has been using a quality control checklist for many years. Adding resource efficient goals was not difficult.

Cost Information: Addison Homes believes that the checklist reduces callbacks as there is no question to what standard the home will be built. Reduced callbacks equal lower warranty costs and happier clients. Happier clients increase sales and return customers.

Some training costs are associated with new techniques and practices. Yet, this is an advantage for trades that wish to work for the company again. Those that don't achieve the standards are not invited back. Providing training in unconventional methods is one way that Addison Homes has carved out a unique niche in the market.

Additional Benefits/Drawbacks: In addition, it may be the only time that some of the small businesses working for them receive any training in quality control or resource efficient construction methods.

SEALED AND CONDITIONED CRAWL SPACE

Goals of Innovation: To provide a conditioned space beneath the home that would reduce loads on heating, cooling and dehumidifying system. To reduce potential indoor air quality issues from beneath the home.

Description: The sealed and conditioned crawl space uses the moderate temperature of the earth to help keep the space warm or cool while also being supplied heating and cooling through the house system. The conditioned temperature and lower moisture levels help to keep the house systems from working so hard during heating and cooling periods.

Specifically, a polyliner was applied up the walls and piers as well as laid continuous under the crawl space to restrict moisture into the space and to help capture the steady moderate temperature of the ground beneath the crawlspace. The exterior foundation walls were insulated with foil-faced foamboard having an R-value of 13. Insulation was not placed between the foundation and first floor so as to create a conditioned space that was part of the house. Supply air from the heating and cooling system is ducted into the crawl space to control temperature and humidity.

Obstacles: This is an unconventional practice in this part of the U.S. Contractors were trained to properly construct and insulate the crawl space.

Cost Information: Some training costs were required. Minor materials costs were required. The heating and cooling system was downsized (as was the cost) due to reduced latent moisture and energy loads. The long-term benefits to the homeowners will continue throughout the life of the home.


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