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This year’s self-guided driving tour includes several new builds with spectacular design features, highly efficient cooling and heating units in new housing, and existing homes with innovative upgrades by the owners. The tour also includes Biz611, a business incubator, demonstrating sustainable commercial construction in downtown Hendersonville. The six tour sites are evenly divided between Henderson and Buncombe Counties.
Aesthetic design and energy efficiency are combined in John McDermott’s home to generate as much energy as it uses – making it a net zero home. Super insulated, geothermal 27 SEER HVAC, and tons of thermal mass contribute to his efficiency. In another home, the walls are constructed with hemp and lime to achieve high insulation values. Reclaimed wood, steel, and window frames from Grove Park Inn are also incorporated into this Buncombe County Energy Star home.
The Green Home Tour will also focus on techniques for greening existing homes. For instance, you can eliminate dark interior spaces with a light tube and cool with a solar attic fan. One home featured on the tour is comfortable without any AC or forced air furnace. These owners have replaced all their grass with edible gardens and wild flowers so they enjoy their outdoor kitchen which reduces the amount of cooling needed to bring down the temperature inside the home from cooking heat.
Energy costs keep rising, but innovative design and construction materials at a Henderson County Habitat for Humanity site will keep costs down to $31 per month for residents. Here is your chance to see inside the walls at their construction and sealing techniques. Also in Henderson County is Hendersonville’s newest building in downtown- Biz611. Just completed in early summer of this year, it was constructed using 9,000 bricks from the former building and other salvaged materials. Forty-four solar panels generate electricity while shading southern exposure. The entire roof collects rainwater that is used in the graywater system throughout the building. Biz611 also boasts a beautiful living wall facing Church Street-- a treat you’ll be sure to enjoy on the day of the tour.
ECO’s Green Home Tour is a great way to spend a day enjoying the countryside while viewing some beautiful green homes and picking up some great ideas on how to live sustainably. Tickets for the Green Home Tour will be available after August 1 at http://www.eco-wnc.org, at the ECO office, and at the Hendersonville and Asheville Visitor’s Centers. For additional information, please call ECO at (828) 692-0385 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.