The Performance Sealed Attic design used in our new De Young SmartHome Icon Series floorplans has been developed over the last four years. It is the culmination of hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of research, analysis, and field testing.
To develop the design, the De Young team assembled an expert building science consortium, from both private and government organizations, including De Young Properties, Johns Manville, Broken Drum Insulation, DuctTesters, PG&E, TRC, BIRAenergy, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, among others. Given the climate zone Fresno/Clovis resides in, which is 3B (IECC) and 13 (CEC), we have specifically designed our attic to maximize energy efficiency and comfort, while maintaining affordability as well as the same structural integrity as all other De Young homes.
The reason for such determination to redesign our attic is twofold: to achieve Zero Net Energy more effectively, and to ensure compliance with future building codes.
To achieve Zero Net Energy, experts will tell you that bringing the home’s HVAC system (or components of it) into “conditioned space” is a necessity. The reason for this is the dramatic improvement in performance that conditioned space will provide, which reduces the energy consumed by the home, thereby reducing the amount of solar panels required to achieve ZNE. This has been a key focus for De Young Properties since we built the first known Zero Net Energy home in the Central San Joaquin Valley in 2013. In fact, our new Performance Sealed Attic design will be used in our second (upcoming) ZNE home.
The second reason for redesigning our attic is to ensure compliance with future building codes. The State of California has increasingly ramped up energy efficiency requirements for new homes over the last 15 years. The next code update will occur January 1, 2017, which is known as the 2016 Title 24 energy code. There are a number of increased requirements in this fast approaching code, but by far, the most significant is the “prescriptive” requirement for a High Performance Attic.
After years of close communication with senior officials in the California Energy Commission, the City of Fresno, the City of Clovis, and PG&E, we have determined that our Performance Sealed Attic should not only meet, but exceed, the performance of this code requirement. In fact, our design is so highly regarded that our new community, Sierra Crest, will be used as an example through the California Advanced Homes Program for other builders to follow in the future.
Lastly, on a more technical level, it is important to note that moisture, from both the outside (weather) and inside (cooking, showers, etc.), has all been taken into account with our design. However, as it is important in our current homes, manufacturers’ recommended operation and maintenance of exhaust fans and kitchen hood vents to control moisture will be important, just as caulking the edge of plumbing fixtures and shower doors is important to prevent water damage to your home.
We are extremely proud of our new Performance Sealed Attic and are excited to share it with our homeowners at Sierra Crest! The time to make your move is now as these homes will not last long. Don’t miss the opportunity to live in popular North Clovis at this incredible community, De Young Sierra Crest.
Author: Brandon De Young