A high performance home: The Planet Clark Emerald House (PCEH) will be a local example of a sustainable, affordable, high performance single family home with a modern and stylish look. The five elements of sustainable, or green, building relate to energy, health, land, materials, and water. With third-party certification under five complementary programs, the PCEH will effectively address all five areas.
With a single plane roof offering optimal surface for solar gain from the south for a solar thermal (for example, hot water) panel, the PCEH has a footprint of 1,154 square feet with 1,010 square feet of livable space. To minimize waste during construction, clean wood and cardboard will be recycled in addition to drywall. Extraneous construction materials will be donated and the site protected with a concrete clean out pit.
Other energy efficiency features include a high-efficiency water heater and high performance windows.
Healthy indoor air quality is increased by using SIPs (constructed with low VOC-emitting, exterior-grade oriented strand board or plywood) and a non-ducted heating system. The exclusion of an attached garage, fireplace, or wood-burning stove also reduces indoor air pollution.
A Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) pressure test will be conducted to verify the indoor air quality following completion of construction.
Inside the house, drywall will not be installed until the framing lumber moisture content is tested at 19 percent or lower. The result is a significant reduction in the possibility of any mold or mildew growth which can lead to deterioration and contribute to harmful indoor air.
The kitchen and bathrooms are centrally located for short hot water plumbing runs. Other indoor water conservation features will include:
- whole-house pressure regulating valve
- low-flow showerheads (2.0/1.75 gallons per minute)
- low-flow faucets (1.5 gallons per minute)
- high-efficient toilets (1.28 gallons per flush)
- single level living space
- lever action hardware, at grade access
- three-foot wide doors
- ample 5’x5’ accessible walk-in shower with turnaround space
Summary: With careful attention paid to conserving land, energy, water, and materials while enhancing indoor air quality, the design of the Planet Clark Emerald House was a comprehensive effort. Many thanks to the dedicated team of architects, designers, green building experts, landscape designers, and engineers who gave their time and talent to this project.