Tifton Gazette

Local News

November 14, 2012

Rotary Club updated on green home

TIFTON — The Rotary Club of Tifton heard from nationally recognized green building expert Tony Grahame at their meeting Wednesday at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village.

Grahame gave a construction update on the net zero energy home at 403 N. Park Ave., which is located in Tifton’s Historic District. He is heading up the construction of the home.

He informed Rotarians, “This house should provide its own energy.”

During his presentation, Grahame showed a PowerPoint with various photos on the progress of the house from when construction first began to where it is now. Some of the house’s features include advanced framing, water managed foundation, insulated walls and roof, duct system inside conditioned space, energy recovery ventilation system, metal roof system, natural lights, energy efficient plumbing/lighting fixture, energy efficient appliances, stamped concrete, high performance windows, ZIP system and much more.

Grahame noted that the house has two floors, and there’s skylighting in each bedroom. He told members that when building a house, start at the foundation. He said the net zero energy house’s foundation is built to last for up to 500 years.

In addition, Grahame said that with energy recovery ventilation, fresh air will continue to flow throughout the house. He added that the south side of the house has solar access.

Also, he said the fiber cement siding and trim is resistant to termites, moisture and fire.

Grahame said the construction of the house helps locals see what a high performance house is and also learn about green building and how they can apply this type of work to existing homes to make them more energy efficient. They get the opportunity to be exposed to this type of technology.

Grahame added that “it’s about helping the community when teaching students about zero energy homes.”

“It took a group of students with help from the community to take it from a piece of land to where it is now,” he stated about the house on Park Avenue.

The net zero energy house is expected to be completed by Dec. 13. Grahame said they are currently finishing up with painting the interior of the house. The next steps will be putting in flooring, the plumbing fixture, door hardware and cabinets.

He said they applied for Georgia Power’s solar energy program. He explained, “It’s like a buy back. They pay you more than what you have to buy back. You have to apply for the program.”

Grahame said Georgia Power is also helping them by moving a utility pole in the back of the house that has been in the way of them putting in a driveway.

In a past article, he stated that the net zero energy house is part of Moultrie Technical College’s Green Tift Grant. With this grant allowing for him to come to Tifton to build high performance houses, he said the house on Park Avenue wouldn’t be possible without the grant or funding from the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence. When the house is sold, the profit will go towards the foundation.

Grahame also stated that contributions from the community have been a tremendous help. About 70 to 80 percent of the construction on the house has been done by students.

To contact reporter Latasha Everson, call 382-4321.

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