Thursday, December 17, 2009

Innova Homes Modular Green Building

Digging back into the files I found this press release from Tonya at Innova Homes.  I should have posted this weeks ago.

Innova Homes has taken modular green building to the green pastures of Burnsville, NC, raising the standards on technically advanced and sustainable modular construction.

The architecturally designed, 2200 sf., arts and crafts style home, is located on a therapeutic horse farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The homeowners and architect worked together to create a home that would provide ultimate comfort and minimal energy usage, while preserving the natural beauty of their surroundings. Innova Homes partnered with Professional Building Systems of North Carolina to produce the home, which was designed to take advantage of the modular manufacturer’s capabilities to produce a custom home with the advantages of modular construction.

David Bennert, the General Contractor for the project and owner of Innova Homes, worked with the owners to take advantage of the natural features of the site, as well as utilizing local and natural resources wherever possible.

Since the site was located on a working horse farm, space was available for installation of a horizontal loop heat exchange system for the geothermal heat pump. The use of horizontal loops significantly reduced the installation cost of the HVAC system, versus comparable vertical well systems. The heat pump was coupled with three independent zones of control, a high-efficiency Morso soapstone wood stove, and an ERV for fresh air exchange. The programmable thermostats, part of the Water Furnace geothermal system, also allow the user to control the redistribution of heat from the wood stove, using the air handler independent of the heat pump. In this mode, warmed air is moved to cooler zones of the home based on the individual zone temperatures and demands.

Other sustainable technologies include solar hot water heating, and a sealed crawl space constructed with insulated concrete forms, resulting in a highly efficient R-22 crawlspace wall.

Five and a half inches of Icynene open cell spray foam insulation was installed in the exterior walls during construction at Professional Building Systems, and eight inches of Biobase foam insulation was site installed on the roof decks. This approach provides for a much tighter shell and dramatically improved energy costs.

Indoor air quality has been maintained through a combination of ERV air exchange with HEPA filtration, as well as carefully selected finishes, including zero VOC primer and paints from Benjamin Moore, and locally produced, non-toxic natural acrylic resin floor finishes from EarthPaint.

Recycled Brazilian cherry flooring, kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, as well as kitchen and bath fixtures were purchased from Habitat for Humanity, and reused/repurposed throughout the home. Salvaged chestnut was utilized for trim, while excavated stone from the site provided beautiful trim work for the foundation and porches.

As with all of Innova Homes’ projects, on-site recycling stations were established for construction waste, including glass, cardboard, aluminum, metal and plastics.

The home includes two beautiful screened in cedar porches off the master bedroom and living room. These areas encourage outdoor living and the use of natural cooling, while offering outstanding views of the surrounding mountains.

Innova Homes built their first green modular home in 2003, and has steadily improved their efficiency and quality over the last six years. Modular construction uses less building materials, preserves natural resources, and produces less construction waste, leaving a smaller ecological footprint than conventional on-site construction. By incorporating more advanced insulation, HVAC, and finishes, Innova Homes has been able to advance modular construction to a sustainable level far above most site built projects, while saving time, money and resources.

For more information on green building technology or modular construction, contact David Bennert at 828-273-3765, or visit

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