Starting from the bottom up with energy-saving products and construction practices made it possible for High Performance Homes to receive its third consecutive Housing Innovation Award for "Home of the Year" in 2017 presented by the U.S. Department of Energy. Located at the Links of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, the stunningly energy-efficient house started with a precast concrete foundation from Superior Walls.
"Green is our company's favorite color," says Kiere DeGrandchamp, director of construction operations for High Performance Homes out of Gettysburg, Penn. "We truly believe that better living space can cost less when the right products and building practices are employed. Our winning project home started with an Xi PlusTM panel system from Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete Systems. We rely on these products for a consistent, clean installation that enables us to get our ZERO Energy Ready Home status from the U.S. Department of Energy."
According to DeGrandchamp, the fast installation and consistent, predictable results of using Superior Walls foundation systems help fit with his company's goal of creating energy-efficient homes.
"The pre-insulted Xi Plus wall system, which uses a high PSI concrete, is dampproof as delivered," says DeGrandchamp. "This gives us a dryer foundation and a high R-value. When we educate our homebuyers about the advantages of these foundations, they're extremely excited and grateful. The energy-savings we build into each home saves them substantially on their long-term energy bills."
The Superior Walls Xi Plus wall systems selected by High Performance Homes include one-inch foam insulated concrete studs and one-inch foam insulation on the bond beams to help ensure energy efficiency. Facing against the environment, the panels have a concrete face shell backed 4-1/2” of expanded polystyrene rigid foam insulation and ½” DOW Thermax polyisocyanurate rigid board insulation.
"The concrete cavity wall panels we construct have studs at 24 inches on center attached at the top and bottom with bond beams, and the entire assembly is faced with an integral concrete face shell," says Angie Barrett, senior vice president with Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete Systems, Inc. in Middleburg, Penn. "The Xi-Plus walls are reinforced with rebar and polypropylene fibers, providing additional structural strength. We build superior strength into each panel with 5,000+ PSI concrete."
To create their energy-efficient custom homes, High Performance Homes incorporates geothermal heating and cooling aspects into the homes they design. The company also relies on solar shingles that are flush with their roofing applications for solar energy, along with structural insulated panels in construction, smart home technology and advanced air infiltration.
According to the Department of Energy, "As a Zero Energy Ready Home Partner, High Performance Homes offers homes that are so energy efficient, all or most of their annual energy consumption can be offset with renewable energy."
"We're creating the 'homes of the future' right now," says DeGrandchamp. "We make it our business to identify, research and use building products and practices that conserve energy and make life easier for homeowners. Starting our projects with Xi Plus precast concrete panels is the best way we know to lay the foundation for an energy-efficient home."