SIP Cottage Payson AZ

Location: Payson, AZ

Project Information

Project Type: Residential, < 3,000 sq. ft.
Manufacturer: Premier Building Systems
Builder: WeBuildGreen LLC - DBA LG Builders
Design Professional: Allura Drafting
Year Built: 2009

Performance

High Performance: Yes
HERS/EUI Index Score:
ACH50 - Blower Test Results:
kBtu/sq.ft./year:
CO2 lbs./sq.ft./year:

Energy efficiency! Net energy is almost zero!

This home was the second home built in a designated “green” subdivision of eleven lots.  All homes in the subdivision will be built by WeBuildGreenLLC dba LG Builders, using SIPs from Premier Building Systems in Phoenix, Arizona. The buyers bought the lot and had the house built specifically because they wanted a green built, environmentally friendly, energy efficient home.  When we explained that we built with SIPs and how much more energy efficient they were than traditional construction, they were sold.  Their decision was further confirmed when we showed them that we could match standard stick framing costs  and build for substantially less than other green building materials by using SIPs from Premier.  Our clients were also very impressed when they visited the construction site during construction and saw how clean and straight the SIPs looked and how easily they were assembled.  Our clients were also clearly impressed by the open floor plan with the vaulted ceiling design that is allowed when using SIP construction.

Besides the positive benefits of SIPs, WeBuildGreenLLC  dba LGBuilders also incorporated numerous other green building materials in the project.  We completed the building envelope with energy star rated doors and windows by Anderson (Anderson 100 series fiberglass frame windows) and used FSC certified lumber to complete the interior framing.  For the interior we used zero VOC paint and Mohawk carpet made from cornhusk (with a lifetime stain guard warranty).  On the exterior, we used a non cementitious stucco looking material that was made up of 20% ground up recycled rubber from car tires from Oro Coatings from Phoenix, Arizona.  This material has the color impregnated into it which eliminates the need to paint the exterior.  It should be noted that this product took a fair amount of documentation from the supplier and elsewhere and several sessions with the local building department before they were convinced that it could be applied directly to the SIPs OSB outer skins and would create the required moisture barrier.  The effort was worth it, however, because it allowed us to eliminate the need for using a chemically produced TYVEK type material as a moisture barrier as well as the exterior paint.  The porch and decking material was Trex decking that provides a lifetime of very limited maintenance.  The exterior landscaping used all native products that required no outside watering.  The rain gutter system (not yet installed) is designed to drain to a low point at the back of the house to go into a water catchment that will be used for a garden in the future.  A geothermal HVAC system was installed by Nuteck Heating and Cooling, utilizing a two ton system.  It should be noted that using such a small system was only possible because of the energy efficiency of the SIPs building envelope.  Without the SIPs we would have had to increase the size to a 3 1/2 or 4 ton unit, resulting in considerably higher cost.  The home also has a 4.8KW photo voltaic solar system installed by Bland Family Solar and Electric, Payson, Arizona.  Before the solar system was installed the highest electric bill was well under $100/month (the house is all electric with no other heating or cooling source).  The clients have only received one electric bill since the solar system was activated because our local utility provider took four months to come out and “throw the switch,” but that last bill was only $15 dollars, which was largely just the utility’s administration fees.  The net energy used was almost zero.

WeBuildGreenLLC dba LGBuilders chose not to undergo the expense of obtaining any type of certification for this home.  We just didn’t feel that the cost/benefit of having these certifications was worth the expense.  However, we have built several other homes with SIPs from Premier and had them tested by an inspector from Energy Inspectors out of Phoenix, Arizona and they all passed easily and we obtained the energy star award for them.  In fact, when the first home in the same subdivision was tested, the inspector stated that it was the tightest home he had ever inspected out of all the homes he had inspected by all of the major builders in the Phoenix, Arizona area over the prior six years.  Therefore, there is no question that this home would easily qualify for energy star rating and/or Leed or other certifications, especially if you consider that none of these other homes have solar like the subject home does.

One additional note:  WeBuildGreenLLC dba LG Builders has made a substantial effort to buy as many of our building products as possible from local or nearby manufacturers in order to reduce transportation distance and environmental impacts of getting the products to us.  When choosing between similar building products, logistics and environmental impact was always a factor.

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