GreenHome Incorporates Crawlspace Sealing System to Improve Energy Efficiency

Raleigh, N.C. – Zebulon-based Regional Waterproofing, a Basement Systems dealer, has teamed up with Cherokee Investment Partners, to incorporate a “green” crawl space system designed to reduce heating and cooling costs, and improve overall air quality in the National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHomeTM. Cherokee’s GreenHome is an idea home intended to show builders and homeowners that green building can be done in a mainstream way that doesn’t compromise comfort or practicality.

Unlike a conventional home design in which the crawlspace is vented directly to the outside, a sealed crawlspace is closed to the outside to prevent moisture and unconditioned air from entering prime living space. Essentially the crawlspace is considered interior space and becomes a partially-conditioned area of the home.

“The idea of sealing a crawl space in this way is a perfect example of how green building can become mainstream,” said Von Bullock, Jr. of Regional Waterproofing. “We hope this project shows the average person that the attributes of keeping moisture or extreme hot or cold air out of the home makes good sense, but when combined as part of an overall ‘green’ design – homeowners can enjoy a healthier, more comfortable home.”

The first line of defense is a 20-mil polyethylene liner that prevents vapors from entering the crawl space and greatly reduces moisture transferring through the sub flooring or foundation walls. Outside the liner, a sump pump is set flush to the ground, moving stagnant water away from the home. Finally, to remove any vapors that may pass through the barrier system, a Sani-Dry air system is in operation for dehumidification and air-filtration.

To further boost the performance of the sealed crawl space, BASF’s Styropor ® rigid foam insulation has been installed on the home’s foundation walls. To keep with the green qualities of the home, Styropor is designed not to produce any off-gassing of toxins, helping to ensure a healthy indoor air quality.

“Air and moisture that comes through the crawl space into a home can place a great load on the heating and cooling systems in a home,” said Jonathan Philips, Senior Director of Cherokee. “What we found in the Basement Systems’ product is a comprehensive way to significantly improve the home’s energy efficiency and overall air quality all at the same time. We see this as a blueprint for what homebuilders can do across the country.”

With nearly half the air in the first story of a home coming from the crawl space, this system greatly reduces energy bills by keeping unconditioned air and moisture out of the home. Indeed, studies by Advanced Energy, a building science non-profit and expert partner on the GreenHome, show that the sole act of sealing the crawlspace will reduce energy consumption in a home by 15%. The sealed space also provides the added benefit of protecting the duct work under the home from the elements that detrimentally effect heating and cooling efficiency. The system also creates a more comfortable home by eliminating “cold-floor” syndrome that results from winter air coming in contact with the floor boards.

Air quality is also improved in the home by reducing the conditions that foster mold and fungus through dehumidification and air-filtration.

The GreenHome is a groundbreaking idea home being built by Cherokee Investment Partners, the world leader in the sustainable revitalization of environmentally impaired properties, to bring green building practices to the forefront of American homebuilding.

Remarkable in the sense that it looks unremarkable, the GreenHome is the first home of its kind known to be built in a typical suburban neighborhood, in Raleigh, N.C. The demonstration home provides the average homebuilder with a model for making tomorrow’s typical American home a green home.

About the GreenHome

Cherokee’s GreenHome is the first home in the nation known to be built in a typical subdivision under the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines. In addition, the home will be certified with the Environmental Protection Agency/ US Department of Energy (EPA/DOE) Energy Star Program and the North Carolina Solar Center’s Healthy Built Homes state program, among others. The home utilizes a range of technological innovations to minimize impact on the environment without sacrificing comfort. As a result, the GreenHome aims to:

• Use 50% less fossil fuel than the conventional home
• Recycle or reuse 90% of all organic waste on site
• Consume 50% less water than the conventional home
• Recycle 75% of all construction and demolition waste
• Retain 95% of all storm water on site for reuse
• Create wildlife habitats
• Provide exceptional indoor air quality with 95% of all products having low or zero volatile organic compound

For more information about the Mainstream GreenHome visit www.MainstreamGreenHome.com.