Tour net-zero, passive and LEED energy-efficient homes

Homoly House

2012-10-17 08.50.18When Andy and Cathy Homoly built their new Parkville home in 2012, they wanted the highest level of energy efficiency — with no energy bills — in a traditional, southern-style house. Their 4,200-square-foot home is certified Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) at the platinum level. The LEED for Homes program of the U.S. Green Building Council awards certification for houses that meet the highest levels of sustainability for energy and water efficiency, materials and resource management, indoor air quality, sustainable sites and other criteria. The Homoly home features a 25kW ground-mounted solar array, solar-powered heat pump, energy recovery ventilator, 1.5 kW wind turbine, micro-hydroelectric generator from pond to lower creek, R30 wall insulation and R45 roof insulation. A 1,500-gallon cistern captures rainwater for flushing toilets. Homoly Construction built the house and Homoly Solar installed the renewable energy features.

The Homoly house is open for tours at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at 6401 NW Monticello Drive in Parkville, MO.

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Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Building Envelope?

The insulation method proposed by this GBA reader requires a lot of foam


Creating an air barrier at the sheathing level and insulating on the exterior with rigid foam insulation is key to the PERSIST and REMOTE building strategies as well as Andrew Homoly’s “perfect” building envelope.

Is there such a thing as a perfect building envelope? One that could be mass-produced from readily available materials, and be appropriate for 90% of all new homes?

Andrew Homoly thinks he’s found one, as he explains in this Q&A post at GreenBuildingAdvisor.

Here are the basic elements:

  • A conventional foundation insulated with 2 in. of rigid foam on the outside.
  • 2×6 walls sheathed with Zip System OSBwith 2 in. of rigid foam on the outside and open-cell spray polyurethane foam in the stud bays.
  • A roof sheathed with OSB, insulated on the exterior with 2 in. of rigid foam capped with another later of OSB sheathing over furring strips.
  • Soffit and fascia made from OSB sheathing, insulated on the exterior with 2 in. of rigid foam, and topped with furring strips and finish material.

It is this last detail, the insulated and vented soffit and fascia, that has Homoly thinking he’s nailed it. He calls his approach the Homoly-Pedley Perfect Envelope, sharing the credit with his framer, Mike Pedley, who came up with the soffit/fascia detai

“Note the ‘gap’ goes all the way up the wall, around the soffit, around the facia, and up the roof to the ridge vent,” Homoly writes. “Periodic vent strips could also be added in the soffit if desired. The entire home from foundation to wall to soffit to facia to roof is wrapped in an uninterrupted thermal envelope.

“I believe this system accomplishes multiple goals … and could easily be mass-produced since it utilizes all common building techniques and materials.

Building Happiness

What is your goal in life?

After you answer, ask yourself “Why?”. After you answer this, keep asking why until you get to what you know is your final answer. For most people, it will go like this… “My biggest goal is to start my own company… or meet my future spouse… or start an exercise program…” When they answer the why question, it will sound like this… “So I can have more freedom… or to start a family… or to be healthier”. Continue reading