This classic barn-styled home fused with contemporary interior design recently earned two of the most prestigious U.S. building accolades. Built in Long Island by SIPA member P3 Builder Group, Inc., the Way Back Barn boasts a Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) award from the Department of Energy (DOE) as well as the highest level Emerald certification to the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). These recognitions are the most sought after by forward-thinking designers and builders who pride themselves on the health and comfort of homeowners while using high-performance structures and methods. John Barrow of the P3 Builder Group is also the Sustainability Co-Chair of the National Association of Home Builders.
The DOE annually announces winners of the Zero Energy Ready Homes-Innovation Awards where Way Back Barn secured the award in Custom for Buyers Homes under 3,000 sq. ft. When a home or building creates a renewable energy system offsetting all or most annual energy consumption it qualifies as a ZERH. The DOE’s award program honors innovative builders providing American homeowners with the best in building standards. Competition criteria is based on durability, health, comfort, and energy savings, meaning each and every project has a talented team of leaders building for the future. Many of these award-winner structures are built with SIPs from SIPA members; in this case, the SIP panels came from FischerSIPS in Kentucky.
The NGBS Certification is the highest and most nationally recognized green-building rating system. A project is rated in several categories and then certified as bronze, silver, gold or emerald. The NGBS standards include energy, water and resource efficiency, lot development, operation and maintenance, and indoor air quality.
How did P3 Builder Group along with architect Shauna McManus create a zero energy ready home? The design started with a SIP building envelope yielding an air leakage rate of 1.17 ACH50 (well below the code requirement of 3 ACH50) and a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) of 38. When you factor in the solar panels, the HERS score becomes negative 22, resulting in a positive energy home. Zero energy usage is identified by HERS=0, therefore a home producing more energy than it consumes earns a negative HERS value (for reference, see the HERS index scale image below). This is what the Way Back Barn project achieved using SIPs with a HERS = -22 embodying the sustainability mantra “reduce before you produce”.