By Cameron Chai
Active House USA, a customized sustainable home is being constructed in Webster Groves, Colorado, by integrating the best green home building practices of the United States and Europe.
Active House USA is a custom home combining European and American green, sustainable, and environmentally conscious building practices for the first time in this country. (PRNewsFoto/VELUX America)
The prototype home is a representation of the next-generation eco-friendly building in the United States. Construction on the 2,600-square-foot home was started in the beginning of May 2012, with occupancy slated in September 2012. The prototype was designed using Active House Alliance standards practiced in current Active House homes constructed across the globe, and to meet or surpass the specifications of North American sustainable building certifications, which include ANSI ICC-700-the National Green Building Standard, Building America Builder's Challenge, EPA Indoor Air Plus, and Energy Star.
VELUX Group, which owns a US subsidiary VELUX America, played a part in the establishment of the Active House Alliance in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2010 to develop several Active House projects. Kim Hibbs of Hibbs Homes is the US building partner for the Active House Alliance, Matt Belcher is project manager, and Jeff Day of Jeff Day & Associates is the architect.
The prototype’s geographic location is ideal due to the fact that warm and cold climate criteria need to be considered for designing the home in the mixed humid climate of St. Louis, thus enabling for easy conversion of the prototype into other US homes.
Kim Hibbs stated that from deconstructed and recycled materials to VELUX No Leak skylights for enabling passive ventilation and natural light, geothermal wells to meet significant share of the energy needs, solar panels to heat water, and other eco-friendly techniques and components, Hibbs Homes is constructing a sustainable house. The University of Missouri Columbia Center for Sustainable Design will observe and record energy data for the prototype for one year of occupancy.