When Antonette and Clement Vasseur decided they wanted to build a “passive house” in Brunswick, MD they turned to Finish Werks in Savage, MD.
They were looking for an air-tight home that draws less energy for heating and cooling than a typical new home but the cost of building such a buttoned up LEED home that is practically ‘off the grid’ was very expensive so they chose to go with the US Dept of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home which means it will be more energy-efficient and have a means of generating power, bringing the overall amount of energy consumed as close to zero as possible.
|Harris Woodward, Finish Werks|
|Antonette Vasseur standing in front of her new home|
“The house is probably not exactly net-zero, but we’ll see in a year or so,” Clement Vasseur said.
“That’s pretty neat, and something I’d like to do,” he said. Though neither he nor his wife have a background in architecture, the Vasseurs are advocates of energy conservation and green living, not to mention lower power bills.
Clement estimates that in a worst-case scenario, their energy bills in their new home would be $50 per month.
The Vasseurs join many of their neighbors in making green improvements. Bruce Dell, Brunswick’s planning and zoning administrator, said the city received one application for a solar array permit in 2012. Last year, they received 42 applications.
More and more builders are using Energy Star standards and alternatives to LEED as the minimum requirements for homes, Woodward said. “Very few builders are talking about LEED anymore.”
Clement said he expects to see more homes like his in the Frederick County area in the near future.
“It’s going to be much more common because it makes sense,” he said.
Their house is scheduled to be completed in July.