Keeping the fifth largest city in America running in a hot and arid desert climate is a difficult task, but the city of Phoenix, Arizona has pledged to do so and go carbon neutral and zero-waste. To achieve this, the city held a sustainable home design competition to come up with a single-family home with a Home Energy Rating System score of 30, or nearly no environmental footprint. What Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects came up with was even better: an affordable family home with a HERS score of 0.
The innovative home can be built for $344,000 and uses recycled materials with naturally insulating properties, such as high-performance glass. The design keeps homes cool in the hot climate of Phoenix but would work just as well at insulating homes in colder environments. Of course, the home also employs solar technology to cut down on energy costs. The average new home has a HERS score of 100, so this new design, which is environmentally friendly and affordable, is revolutionary in the field of sustainable architecture.
One of the best things about this innovative and affordable design package is that it’s available at no cost for home builders wanting a low impact house, but who don’t have tons of cash to spend on architectural fees. By lowering the barriers to construction on low impact, net-zero homes, this plan and others like it might just change the way cities get built.