The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) and Cobblestone Homes today introduced Michiganâ??s first, affordable net-zero energy home. Using readily available energy efficiency technologies from Dow, the house, dubbed the â??Vision Zeroâ? home is expected to save $3,507 in energy costs and avert 44,855 lbs of CO2 annually.
The net-zero energy home project is another example of Dowâ??s collaboration with partners like Cobblestone Builders â?" a Great Lakes Bay region homebuilder focused on energy-efficiency â?" and the State of Michigan to meet the shared goal of increasing our nationâ??s energy security, creating jobs and addressing the important goal of combating climate change.
â??As a world leader in applied chemistry, Dow is uniquely positioned to provide real-life solutions to address some of the worldâ??s most pressing energy challenges,â? said Doug May, Dowâ??s vice president of energy, climate change and alternative feedstocks. â??The Vision Zero home utilizes a variety of energy solutions from Dow and is proof that homeowners can affordably enjoy all the comforts of the modern home, with a reduced environmental impact and still achieve a net-zero utility bill.â?
The home also represents an important proof point for the progress of Michigan and the region to become a technology leader in both the creation and application of next generation building systems and technologies. It aligns with Governor Granholmâ??s vision for Michigan to be at the forefront nationally in the effort to promote a new clean energy economy and programs leading to good jobs. And both Dow and Cobblestone believe collaborative efforts like these have the potential to create thousands of new, highly skilled green jobs in the coming years and decades.
Net-zero energy homes typically use about 60-70 percent less energy than a conventional home, with the balance of its energy needs supplied by renewable technologies. The Vision Zero home uses a wide range of Dow materials and sustainable technologies, including next generation insulation and air-sealing products, and the revolutionary new DOWâ?¢ POWERHOUSEÃ¤ Solar Shingles. The solar components on this home, which includes a demonstration of Dowâ??s solar shingle, will produce enough energy to supply all of this homeâ??s electricity needs plus additional electricity that can be sold back to the local utility company for energy credits.
Cobblestone has also incorporated a wide range of products from a number of other leading suppliers that will conserve energy or harness renewable resources to keep the Vision Zero home comfortable, while meeting the zero-energy threshold. The house uses geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool the home, solar water heating systems to provide hot water, as well as LED light bulbs and ultra-high efficiency appliances that can be found throughout the house. When you combine the energy efficient insulation materials, energy saving appliances, geothermal energy, and solar power, you get a net-zero energy home â?" a home that essentially sustains itself.
â??For years, weâ??ve been a leading advocate for energy efficient, healthy and environmentally friendly homes here in Michigan,â? said Mark Wahl, co-owner of Cobblestone Homes. â??Our collaboration with Dow to build the Vision Zero home provides us with a unique opportunity to educate consumers and the industry about the attainability of net-zero energy homes. It will serve as a real-world example that net-zero is achievable, affordable and replicable, even in harsh Northern climates.â?
The Vision Zero house, located in Bay City, Michigan, will also be an educational center for builders and consumers for one year, providing tours, training, and hands on demonstrations. For more information on the Vision Zero home, visit www.visionzerohome.com.
About Cobblestone Homes
Cobblestone Homes has been building energy-efficient, healthy, and environmentally friendly homes in the tri-cities area since the early 2000s. They offer flexibility and personalization -- not stock solutions -- to ensure each new home perfectly suits the ownerâ??s needs. For more information visit www.cobblestonelifestyle.com.