New Ultra-Green Award-Winning Home Demonstrates the Building Technology to meet the 2030 Challenge

The "Emerald Home" has achieved a net-zero designation and corresponding H.E.R.S. (Home Energy Rating System) score of "minus two," two points less than the magic number of "zero" as called for in Ed Mazria's "2030 Challenge."


October 13, 2009, Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Ultra-Green Award-Winning Luxury Home in Santa Fe Produces All Its Own Energy and Demonstrates the Building Technology to meet the "2030 Challenge"

A new, high performance, award-winning, luxury custom home in the foothills of Santa Fe, New Mexico produces all its own energy. The "Emerald Home" has achieved a net-zero designation and corresponding H.E.R.S. (Home Energy Rating System) score of "minus two," two points less than the magic number of "zero" as called for in Ed Mazria's "2030 Challenge." The home is the pilot project for Santa Fe's new building code, one of the most progressive green building codes in the country.

"The Emerald Home demonstrates how a home can produce all its own energy and how it can meet building standards today that will, hopefully, be the norm in the year 2030," said Maxine Swisa, financial partner and broker.

The Emerald Home meets all six categories of the city's new building code at the highest designation "Emerald." These categories are: site impact, water efficiency, energy efficiency, resource efficiency, indoor air quality and homeowner education. "I want to thank you for putting this jewel, this ‘Emerald,' into the city of Santa Fe," said Santa Fe's mayor David Coss at the home's opening celebration in August. "It is going to be a great thing for the whole community."

In addition to state-of-the-art solar and geothermal systems, the Emerald Home blends solar gain, thermal mass and a superior building envelope to achieve a net-zero, energy-efficient home, without sacrificing the amenities of a luxury residence. Faren Dancer, the home's designer and builder, was committed to minimizing the building's carbon footprint by using reclaimed and recycled materials that contribute to the organic and warm atmosphere of the home.

"The Emerald Home serves as an inspiration in moving forward the new paradigm of conscious environmental stewardship, renewable energy and greatly reduced carbon emissions," said Dancer.

The superior energy efficiency of the Emerald Home has made it a model for educational outreach in green building techniques. As the recipient of a United States Green Building Council (USGBC) educational grant (one of two nationally), the Emerald Home is the subject of an online course through the Santa Fe Community College on net-zero energy green building, available in the spring 2010.

The Emerald Home sets the standard for future construction using efficient and sustainable building practices that can be scaled to all levels of the market including remodels and retrofits. "This house is a demonstration of what building practices are going to be in 20 years," said Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Homebuilders Association. "The challenge is for all of us to take this technology, embrace it, and start to utilize it."

Faren Dancer
Designer, Builder, Consultant
Sundancer Creations, Custom Builders
Mobile: 505-670-9299

Maxine Swisa
President, SunMax LLC,
Owner, Eco Broker,
NAR Green Designation
Mobile: 505-570-0550

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