JUST ANNOUNCED: De Young Properties Unveils Largest Grid-Connected, Zero Energy Home Community in California
De Young Properties, Electric Power Research Institute, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and BIRAenergy collaborate on R&D for the community
A collaboration led by De Young Properties, and including the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and BIRAenergy, just announced De Young EnVision, the first Zero Energy Home Community in Central California and the largest to be developed in the State. Located in Clovis, De Young EnVision will include 36 grid-connected homes designed with the potential to produce as much clean energy as they consume in a year.
“The community will be unlike any other in the region,” said Brandon De Young, De Young Properties Executive Vice President and President of De Young Mortgage. “Its green design and energy efficiency measures will enable homeowners to achieve extremely low energy bills, to live more comfortably, and to reduce their carbon footprint.”
About The Homes
In order for a home to be labeled Zero Energy, also known in the homebuilding and energy industries as Zero Net Energy, it must be exceptionally energy efficient and designed with the potential to produce as much clean energy as it consumes in a year.
Each De Young EnVision floorplan is designed as a computer energy model that allows building scientists to optimize home energy consumption and solar production.
The homes use De Young EnergySmart features, such as heat pump water heaters that harvest energy by extracting heat from the ambient air around the unit, a performance sealed attic, advanced framed walls, and ample formaldehyde-free insulation with airtight construction, among other energy efficient features.
The homes also include a solar power system designed with the potential to produce enough energy to bring net annual energy consumption to zero. Once an EnVision Zero Energy home is built, it is up to the energy use choices of each homeowner to achieve optimum results. This simple “production and consumption” formula is guided by sophisticated U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and industry-accepted methodology and energy simulation software to predict a home’s annual energy consumption as well as, calculate how much solar must be installed to produce an equivalent amount of clean energy. Homeowner energy consumption practices are also paramount in achieving Zero Energy status as designed by De Young’s building science team.
De Young EnVision’s 36 Zero Energy homes will be located within the greater 3,300-acre master planned community of Loma Vista in Clovis. EnVision homes will be available in eight floorplans ranging from 1,690 – 3,820 square-feet, and prices will start in the $300,000’s. Homes will be available for purchase at a Pre-Grand Opening event at De Young’s Armstrong Welcome Center located on Armstrong, south of Gettysburg in Clovis on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. The first homes in this community are scheduled to be completed by the second quarter of 2018.
About The Research
Over the next several years, De Young Properties and EPRI researchers will monitor energy usage and solar production, among other performance attributes, of the EnVision homes to learn how they can continue to improve Zero Energy home design.
“We are at the precipice of realizing the benefits of a fully electrified, optimally integrated and smart home,” said Ram Narayanamurthy, EPRI principal program manager. “Customers benefit from more choice, optimized energy costs, and increased satisfaction and control.”
The findings will further inform utilities and other development stakeholders how to more seamlessly integrate these types of homes into the electric grid.
“We aim to achieve an improved understanding of the economic and technical feasibility of developing more communities of this type,” continued Narayanamurthy.
Narayanamurthy added that these homes will help achieve the goal of the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, which is for all new homes to be Zero Energy.
About The Event
The event included a panel discussion that was held in Clovis, Calif., amidst an audience of the California Energy Commission (CEC), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and collaborating organizations, in addition to regional and local political leaders and other invited guests.
De Young Properties, a guest speaker, and project collaboration panelists addressed how De Young EnVision homes’ advanced building science and technology design will far exceed California’s current and future energy efficiency building standards and will serve as a model for future Zero Energy homebuilding.
Guest speaker Martha Brook, Advisor to CEC Commissioner McAllister, provided insight on what the future holds for clean energy in California and the importance of communities like De Young EnVision. The panel of distinguished energy efficiency experts was moderated by De Young, and included: Narayanamuthy; Peter Turnbull, PG&E’s zero net energy program manager; Aaron Gillmore, Tesla’s Director of Military and Builder Sales; and Dr. Rob Hammon, founder and president of BIRAenergy as panelists.
“De Young Properties saw the future for California and embraced it. They worked with industry and technical experts to demonstrate that the State’s clean energy goals are not just attainable, but also practical and affordable,” said Martha Brook, advisor to CEC Commissioner McAllister. “With EnVision, they are not just a state leader in implementing California’s clean energy policies, but will be a model for the world by providing beautiful homes with small carbon footprints.”
Contributing to the Community
Understanding energy efficiency is the responsibility of all California homebuilders and homeowners, that is why the De Young Properties family also presented a $5,000 check to Fresno State’s Construction Management Department Chair, Brad Hyatt, at the conclusion of the event. The money will contribute to programs to help educate the next generation of sustainable homebuilders.
De Young Properties encouraged others to invest not only in energy efficiency, but also in educational programs, like Fresno State’s, where engineering research and development is being studied to maximize energy efficient homebuilding for tomorrow’s homebuilders.
“De Young EnVision represents the future of homebuilding. When we constructed our first Zero Electric home in 2011, we knew that was just the beginning of our forward-thinking energy vision,” said De Young. “Our goal has always been to build better homes for our homeowners, the community and the environment. With our extensive team of collaborators, the EnVision community has allowed us to reach that goal by building a Zero Energy community with a call-to-action for what California homebuilders can do now to positively impact generations to come.”
To learn more about De Young EnVision, visit a De Young Welcome Center today.
Author: Brandon De Young