A home for the 21st Century is not about the latest in gadgets and wireless alarms, internet connections or top of the line intercom system. It is about strength, comfort and energy efficiency.
Baby Boomers are buying their last home and they know what they want.
Enter a new type of home. A home that stands up to fire, noise, sun, wind, rain, snow, bugs, mould and inevitable acts of God like, earthquakes and hurricanes; a home that gives you unprecedented comfort and a breath of fresh air 24 hours a day; a home that can resist hurricanes in Florida as well as sub artic temperatures in the Canadian North.
Imagine an airtight, steel reinforced concrete cube with about 3 inches of styrofoam insulation on both sides of the wall and body temperature heated floors.
Fresh air from the outside enters the house through a series of pipes buried 5 feet below the ground where there is always a constant temperature – 8 Degrees Celsius.
If you really wanted you could open high efficiency Low-E Argon filled windows, but why would you want to?
During the summer the incoming air is pre-cooled; during the winter it is pre-warmed. The flow is strictly controlled, pre-conditioned and filtered for a breath of fresh air – 24 hours a day.
Computer modeling of this type of air pre-conditioning shows that just this one idea saves 11% on heating and cooling costs comparable to conventional venting system.
This new type of luxury home is built as a combination of some of the newest technologies in modern home building: Insulated Concrete Form (ICFs), radiant floor heating, a tank-less water heater and a low energy consumption air conditioning system (that that you may need to use but very rarely).
The outside walls, which are built out of steel reinforced concrete make this home wind and fire resistant, bug and mould resistant and provide excellent protection from hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
Outside voices, traffic noises and police sirens are muffled by the walls thickness which allows you to sleep soundly every night. Gone are floor squeaks, drafts and the rattling of glass in your china cabinet.
Because of the exceptional insulation of insulated concrete forms, there is significant ongoing savings in energy costs and greatly increased comfort levels for the homeowner. The savings are anywhere from 35% to 60% depending mostly on the style of home and the size and type of windows.
Features, such as a high (92%) efficiency tank-less water heater heats the whole home, while providing an endless supply of potable hot water.
It turns itself on when you turn your hot water tap, therefore there are no standby losses as with a conventional hot water heater. This equals approximately 25% of energy savings just to heat your hot water.
It is also easy to incorporate a full solar heating, so you can achieve a complete independence from the grid.
This type of home costs only about 10% more than a comparable wood framed home and considering a long term savings, comfort and security why would anyone build homes differently is a merited question.