Hero Highlight

As often as possible, we like to highlight a new builder, trade contractor, architect or engineer that has displayed a commitment toward energy efficient construction through investment in training and education.  Highlighted building professionals have taken steps above and beyond to ensure they deliver a high-quality service that is up-to-date with advancements in construction practices and building codes.

Builder Spotlight: AquaZephyr, LLC

There’s an alternative way of living being built in the United States. It’s globally conscious community living with energy savings and efficiency in mind. AquaZephyr, LLC has built two award winning housing structures in one community that have been independently certified to meet DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) guidelines. ZERH homes are being built to be so energy efficient that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of their annual energy consumption. Along with energy savings and ecological reasons, a sense of  community is what draws people to live in these villages where they eat together and help with work around the property such as tending to the community garden.

1 – Eco-Village at Ithaca

AquaZephyr, LLC constructed 17 single-family and 4 duplex homes in Eco-Village at Ithaca, a sustainable community featuring walking paths, community gardens, and highly efficient construction. The high performance homes are ideally situated to obtain energy from the sun via roof-mounted photovoltaic and solar water heating panels. AquaZephyr, LLC built this 1,664-square-foot two-story certified DOE Zero Energy Ready Home that achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 15 with a 4kW solar electric system and solar domestic hot water. It is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2 floors.

Eco-Village at Ithaca is part of a global movement of people seeking to create positive solutions to the social, environmental and economic crises to the planet. Their mission is to promote experiential learning about ways of meeting human needs for shelter, food, energy, livelihood and social connectedness that are aligned with the long-term health and viability of Earth and all its inhabitants.

Eco-Village at Ithaca was a DOE Housing Innovation Awards winner in 2014.

KEY FEATURES:

• High-performance insulation system for enhanced quiet and comfort
• Comprehensive draft protection
• Fresh air system for cleaner, healthier indoor air
• High-efficiency comfort system
• High-efficiency appliances and advanced lighting technology for energy and water savings

View more of the project details, floor plan, and construction pictures.

“The tight envelope keeps the internal temperature very livable, despite extremes of outside heat or cold.  It takes very little additional heat during the coldest winter days. In the summer, cellular window shades keep the house safe from too much solar gain.  Ceiling fans provide the only necessary additional internal cooling.”

– Homeowner

2 – Tree at EcoVillage

AquaZephyr, LLC, built this 22,600-square-foot, 15 unit multifamily building in Ithaca, New York, the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program. The angular decks and entry area were designed to increase the amount of southern exposure for passive solar gain. This housing unit was a DOE Housing Innovation Awards winner in 2016.

KEY FEATURES:

• High-performance insulation system for enhanced quiet and comfort
• Comprehensive draft protection
• Fresh air system for cleaner, healthier indoor air
• High-efficiency comfort system
• High-efficiency appliances and advanced lighting technology for energy and water savings

View more of the project details, floor plan, and construction pictures.

“What I like about the DOE ZERH program is the clear overlap with ENERGY STAR, the fantastic support, and the promotion of zero net energy. Our customers are thrilled to be improving their building performance, reducing environmental impacts and pollution, and reducing maintenance. In most cases, we find building to zero net energy ready levels is not a significant added cost..”

– Kendall Carpenter, builder, AquaZephyr LLC

Learn more about community life at the Eco-Village at Ithaca.

Ecovillage at Ithaca: A Community Life

Learn more at the Eco-Village at Ithaca website.


Home Energy Heroes makes it easy for homebuyers to find builders, trade contractors, architects and home energy raters who have participated in training certified by the New York Department of State and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. These industry professionals have shown a level of commitment to their craft and to providing New Yorkers with quality homes that frequently go well beyond compliance into the realm of high performance.

This initiative is possible thanks to partners like CRBRA who host these events for their members and the following sponsors who provide food and other support:  DuPont Tyvek distributed by ParksiteBROAN NuTone, and Mitsubishi, and Owens Corning.