Yesterday, I introduced you to the Zero Home: The first single-family smart home to be certified as net-zero energy-efficient in Climate Zone 5, meaning that all the energy the home consumes is produced on site via renewable resources. Today, I’ll take you on a deep dive into the systems and building practices that made this feat possible.
The 4300-square-foot Zero Home is the result of a partnership between Vivint (a fast-growing company best known for home-security and home-control systems) and Garbett Homes (a residential development company that builds between 400 and 600 homes per year). Both companies are based in Utah, and the Zero Home was built in the Salt Lake City suburb of Herriman.
The Zero Home defies the home-of-the-future stereotype of being too impractical for large-scale implementation: “This home is designed to be replicated on a mass basis,” said Garbett Homes marketing director Rene Oehlerking. “It costs about $150 per square foot to build a home like this—the same amount it costs our competitors to build conventional homes.”
Climate Zone 5 consists of regions of the country that experience warm summers and cold winters. That includes Utah, where the home is located and where both Vivint and Garbett Homes are headquartered. The Zero Home has also earned a HERS rating of zero. (The acronym stands for Home Efficiency Rating System, which is an index for measuring a home’s energy efficiency. Think of it as an MPG rating for houses—but with this index, the lower the number, the better the rating.)