Developer uses geothermal to build greener homes
OKLAHOMA CITY, December, 2014 – ClimateMaster Inc. announced today the groundbreaking of Moore, Okla.-headquartered McAlister Construction Inc.'s Avondale residential development project, which will feature geothermal-based heating and cooling across 100 percent of its homes.
The homes, ranging from 1,600 to 2,500 square feet, will specifically include one to two Tranquility® 22 Digital Two-Stage (TZ) Series geothermal heat pump systems from ClimateMaster, manufactured within close proximity at the company's headquarters facility in Oklahoma City. The heat pumps will work in conjunction with one to three boreholes drilled underneath the front yard of each home to deliver year-round heating and air conditioning.
According to McAlister Construction co-owners Greg McAlister and Josh Kitchen, the Avondale development, located on Eastern Avenue between NE 12th and NE 27th streets in Moore, Oklahoma, will be the first of its kind to incorporate affordable historic craftsman-style design and exceptional geothermal heating and cooling efficiency in a single residential community.
"We have been placing a strong emphasis on energy efficiency since 2007 and creating an all-geothermal development like Avondale made sense," Kitchen said. "As builders, we want to build the most efficient houses in the most cost-effective way. That is why we already incorporate elements like 2×6 exterior walls, blown-in fiberglass insulation, Low-E Argon gas-filled windows, and even independent third-party energy and air-leakage testing with all our homes. Geothermal adds a dimension of energy efficiency that we are really excited about on behalf of our homeowners. It allows them true heating and cooling energy independence as well as added benefits like free domestic hot water generation."
Kitchen shared that the homes in the new Avondale community are expected to achieve Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index scores in the 30s and 40s, making them up to 90 percent more efficient than a typical existing home on the market today. As he explained, the lower a HERS score, the more energy efficient a home will be.
"Conventional existing homes score around 130 on the HERS Index, with new homes scoring around 100," explained Kitchen. "Building homes with a HERS score in the 30 to 40 range is definitely unique – particularly at this home size and price point. We are excited about blazing a new trail in this respect."
"The Avondale development is as much a teaching tool as it is a residential development," said ClimateMaster market development manager Titian Burris. "With an all-geothermal community like this, we are showing homeowners why they should not only embrace, but also be really excited about, the opportunity to save money and experience exceptional comfort with a geothermal system. Homeowners here will experience just how quickly they see a return on their investment as energy bill savings are immediately realized, and their neighbors are all sharing similar experiences."
Construction will officially commence on the first 10 homes in the Avondale community by the end of this year and are expected to be completed by April of 2015. A total of 46 homes will be built in the Avondale community. The project at-large will additionally include the development of two acres of commercial frontage on Eastern Avenue that will also feature geothermal heating and cooling.