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.

Extreme Green Home Available for Tours

The Homoly Residence epitomizes green building. Spearheading the Kansas/Missouri high-performance building movement, owners Andrew and Catherine Homoly have incorporated the height of technological advancement and responsible building in their personal home.

The architecture, layout and overall vision of this home represents years of planning and dreaming on the part of its owners. Andy hopes that this traditionally-styled home will help prove to skeptics that energy efficient, high-performance structures do not have to look modern or modular as some assume, nor does this style of building have to break the bank. Technology and construction materials have advanced to meet the demands of even the most traditional styles. Home Tours are available upon request. Continue reading

KC’s Energy Solutions Homes Tour October 6

The Heartland Renewable Energy Society’s 13th Annual Tour

Don’t miss the 2012 Energy Solutions Homes Tour on October 6, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. The Homes Tour will feature 8 locations touting energy efficiency and renewable energy in virtually every part of the KC Metro area. The Tour will be a “self-guided” tour, meaning that attendees will select the homes they wish to see and the times they wish to see them, and then drive themselves to the homes of most interest to them. $10 tickets for the entire Tour will be available at any of the Tour Homes (kids 12 and under are free. Visit four of more sites and receive a $10 gift certificate.). Greenability Magazine will feature the Homes Tour in its September-October issue. You can find Tour Homes’ addresses there or at the Tour website The website has photos, directions, home features, and an interactive map of the tour sites. Continue reading

Recycling Your House

This is an article that recently appeared in the Kansas City Star and after being picked up by the AP was then ran in the LA Times and Seattle Times.

“Homeowners decide to deconstruct, not demolish”
More than three-fourths of the house can be reused and recycled instead of all of it ending in the dump. — By Stacy Downs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you’re remodeling your kitchen or want to build your dream home on property with a not-so-idyllic house, there’s a way to tear down that doesn’t involve the wrecking ball. Continue reading