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Case Study Using Solid Green Systems

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New Building Achieves 5-Star Energy Rating and HERS Rating of 12

Project Details:

  • Custom Solid Green Structure – Houston, Texas
  • Size: 7,100 Square Feet
  • Stories: 2
  • Total Construction Costs: $1M +
  • Completion Date: November 2013
  • Architects: Randall Ware, Shelter Design Studio

Structure Details:

  • EPS Foam Wall and Roof System: Solid Green Systems and Houston Foam Plastics
  • Synergy Base Coats, Meshes, and Exterior Stucco: BASF Wall Systems
  • Solar Panels and Energy Monitoring Services: Circular Energy
  • LED Lighting: LED Source
  • Three 16-SEER Variable-Speed HVAC Systems (9 Tons): Lennox
  • Hybrid Heat Pump Electric Water Heater: GE GeoSpring
  • Appliances: Energy Star Appliances
  • Windows: Andersen Windows
  • Energy Modeling: Ekotrope

With the business and consumer demand for green buildings escalating — and expected to grow at a faster pace in the coming years — there is more pressure than ever before on the commercial and residential building industry to reduce the amount and cost of energy used by buildings.

Last year, Solid Green Structures and several energy partners demonstrated how this goal can be achieved rapidly, on budget, and on target. Together they built a 7,100-square-foot, high-performance, energy-efficient building near Houston, Texas, in 10 months and under budget. The building received a five-star plus energy rating and a HERS rating of 15.

They achieved this exceptional energy-efficiency thanks to the patent-pending EPS and light-gauge steel wall-and-roof system from Solid Green Systems. This system not only brings several energy saving benefits to the project, but also it works seamlessly with other energy-saving features from other companies, including solar panels, windows and doors, and AC and heating systems.

Lower Energy Use and Sustainable Building Practices

To streamline the building process and achieve ecological responsibility, the wall and roof panels were manufactured to fit the building’s exact specifications by Solid Green’s selected manufacturing location within 20 miles of the job site.

Jobsite proximity is a hallmark of Solid Green Systems’ business model, ensuring a lower carbon footprint during the build. Low waste is another benefit of system. As a result, the building’s jobsite required no dumpster until the drywall phase of the project. The limited scrap material from framing was recycled.

The framing crew was on-site when the wall and roof panels were delivered. Framing to the dried-in stage was completed in approximately four months, which is significantly faster than with wood. The panels provided a seamless integration with the decking and metal roofing, exterior stucco, stone finish, and interior drywall.

Building efficiency was further achieved because the plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and low-voltage contractors could easily access chases in the Solid Green Systems panels to run conduit, wiring, and plumbing.

The building also features a steel roof with a stucco and stone exterior. Finish-outs include polished concrete floors, 12-foot walls, cathedral ceilings to 22-feet, 8-foot doors, high- efficiency windows, three 16-SEER variable-speed HVAC systems totaling 9 tons, LED lighting, energy monitoring services, hybrid heat pump electric water heater, energy star appliances, and solar panels.

Leading Energy Partners Contribute to Exceptional Energy Efficiency

Leading energy solution partners on the project included:

Ekotrope’s energy modeling software allowed the builders to reduce the expected building’s energy use in the design stage by providing and rating multiple design and energy solution options. The final design was rated with a superior HERS rating of 15 thanks to its energy efficiency – including energy usage, air tightness, and overall performance. CURB, a software system from Circular Energy, will continue to monitor the building’s energy performance over time.

“This building demonstrates our commitment to create attractive, energy-efficient buildings,” states David Carolan, Solid Green Systems’ CEO. “This project also provides an opportunity for us to demonstrate how partnering with alternative energy partners and software providers can move building projects closer to today’s ultimate building goal – SMART net zero energy use.”

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