New Jersey-based contractors Suntuity Solar and Suntuity Home have begun construction on a unique LEED Platinum-Certified home, the first of many planned under Suntuity Home’s Net Zero brand. The 100% solar-powered structure will become the first self-sustaining residential net zero energy project in central New Jersey to be built with cost-effective and environmentally-friendly BuildBlock ICF (Insulating Concrete Forms).
Once construction is complete, the ENERGY STAR® rated home will host 90 rooftop DualSun SPRING solar modules on an Englert standing seam metal roof, 98% energy efficient LED lighting, a 93-kW solar thermal heating system, and 8 Tesla Powerwall batteries for power storage. Additionally, an 1,800-sq-ft rain catchment system will be installed on the rooftop to save and recycle up to 40,000 gallons of water per year.
A geothermal heating system and hybrid heat pumps will be used for secondary and tertiary heating supplements, and a 29,000-gallon infinity edge pool will serve as an additional storage location for hot water during colder months. The insulated driveway of the home, also to be built with ICF, will include an ice melt system to battle icy weather conditions. Additional premier brands utilized for this project include a CertainTeed mortarless STONEfacade to avoid moisture related issues, a Warmboard radiant heating system, 3-pane, low emissivity (Low-E) PlyGem windows and a 36-ft span of hinge-less Panoramic Doors made with PVC and aluminum for improved thermal conditions and structural strength.
“We are pleased to announce this unique pilot project,” said Suntuity President and CEO Dan Javan. “It is the first of many net zero homes we will build to bring homeowners and business owners into a sustainable, affordable, ideally carbon-free future that will positively affect generations to come. We have done our best to work with a skilled team of professionals to bring green structures like this to market.”
The DualSun SPRING solar modules are hybrid PV and solar thermal devices. Water circulates inside the panel to optimize heat transfer in the PV cells. The front side is a monocrystalline solar panel and the rear side supports the panel’s cooling system and uses the waste heat for solar hot water. The 90 315-W panels will provide 28.35 kW of PV power.
While it has a wealth of carbon-reducing benefits, there are also significant savings that the homeowner will experience over time – about $12,000 in annual utility savings, or an estimated ~$300,000 over 25 years. For additional savings, the standing seam metal roof with low-gloss, non-reflective coating helps reduce energy bills up to 50% and keeps the surface 60-70°F cooler than other roof options.