An energy-efficient dream home in Virginia

Energy conservation was always important to Laurie Huber and her husband Ross Huber, who lived in an urban area just outside of Washington, D.C. So, when they purchased 20 acres in Boydton, Va. (about 200 miles southwest of D.C.), they reached out to architect Adam Cohen because they knew that they wanted Passive House construction to maximize the energy efficiency in their future home. Adam told them his new building envelope system, called Build SMART, would be a perfect fit for their project. 
Adam and the Build SMART team helped make the Hubers’ “dream come true,” according to Laurie, who had plans to model their high-performance home to highlight the system’s benefits to others. 

Construction Was a Breeze

Even though the Hubers’ home was the first Build SMART panel system house constructed, Laurie said the process went smoothly from the start. “We were amazed that panels for a whole house arrived on a single tractor-trailer truck,” she said. “Our home is two stories, 3200 square feet. We were lucky to have ample space for the unloading, but this could work almost anywhere.”

The Hubers were especially pleased by the fact they could use local vendors and contractors throughout nearly every phase of the project. “Although our builder had never worked with Build SMART panels before, he and his crew found that they were easy to work with,” she said. “Probably the most important thing about working with the panels was to fully prepare the work crew by making it clear that this would be a different kind of build and that whenever there was any doubt, ask.”

And how long did construction take? “Once the foundation was prepared, the house went up in three days.”

The Results Were Incredible

The Hubers couldn’t be happier with their new home from both an aesthetic and energy efficiency standpoint. “The windows are big, sunny and beautiful,” Laurie said. “The house is very quiet and there are no cold spots or hot spots. The temperature is consistent throughout the house. On 100-degree days, the whole house stays cool using only 6 kilowatt-hours of power or about 60 cents worth of electricity at local rates.” 

“With the Build SMART panels, which come with pre-installed, high-quality windows and doors, as well as the other energy conservation features throughout our home, and our 3KW solar array, we expect to use very little energy beyond what we have generated ourselves. Our intent is to put more energy onto the grid than we take from it.”

It Just Makes Sense

“Energy efficiency makes sense for everyone,” Laurie said. “Building any structure, residential or otherwise, benefits from the super-insulation that is the core of the Build SMART panel system. Build SMART made it possible for us to reach our goal of constructing a certifiable Passive House.”