Green home aims to be one of a kind

first_imgUrban NW Homes founder and owner Troy Johns stands outside a Salmon Creek-area house that aims to be the area’s first “net zero” home. The structure is designed to produce more energy than it consumes over time, and will have Emerald designation under the National Green Building Standard. The home is far from finished, but Troy Johns is happy to show it off early. Actually, that’s the point.Johns’ Urban NW Homes is building a Salmon Creek-area home that hopes to set the latest local standard of energy-efficient design. And he’s shooting for a higher bar than any other project here has reached.In addition to being an Emerald structure — a formal designation under the National Green Building Standard — the house also aims to be one of the first “net zero” homes on the West Coast, Johns said. The idea is to make a home that sustainably supplies its own energy needs, with the help of 29 solar panels and a dizzying array of other features.“It’s basically a rocket ship,” Johns said. “It’s just built so well, there’s nothing else built like it.”The home isn’t the first in the county to include ambitious energy-efficient elements in its design. Clark County recently broke ground on its own Emerald house in Hazel Dell. Other local developers have incorporated green features into their projects for years. Urban NW’s design aims to take the concept to the next level.“Net zero” status doesn’t mean the home will be disconnected from the local grid, Johns said. Its residents would likely pay a utility bill some months of the year, but get a check for selling power back into the grid during other months. The goal: a net cost of zero, or better.That’s a difficult mark to reach, particularly in a Northwest climate, but energy-efficiency and sustainability are important ideals to strive for, said local builder Jon Girod. The result creates environmental benefits and big financial savings for the resident, said Girod, who owns green-focused developer Quail Homes.last_img read more