The NextGen “First to the Future” Demonstration Home, located a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip, is a U.S. Department of Energy Builders Challenge home that showcases concrete products and applications offering a range of sustainable and environmental benefits
Sources: U.S. Department of Energy Builders Challenge; Portland Cement Association, Skokie, Ill.
The NextGen First to the Future Demonstration Home, located a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip, is a U.S. Department of Energy Builders Challenge home that showcases concrete products and applications offering a range of sustainable and environmental benefits. Billed as stronger, greener, and smarter than typical demonstration homes, the 5,200-sq.-ft. residence will achieve, according to estimates of Building America research partner and independent residential energy consulting firm ConSol, whole-house energy savings of 63 percent over Building America benchmark requirements and 51 percent greater efficiency than today’s standard home. The anticipated Home Energy Rating System (HERS) total for the residence–housing five bedrooms and 6.5 baths, plus a three-car garage–is 44, versus the average U.S. home score of 130 and typical new home construction averages of 100.
Much of that energy efficiency can be attributed to the use of insulating concrete forms (ICF) to frame the home’s exterior walls. An interior plaster finish applied directly to the ICF walls provides even greater thermal protection and eliminates the need to use drywall. Additionally, exterior walls were coated with portland cement stucco.
Enclosing reinforced concrete between two insulating layers of Styrofoam, ICFs provide demonstrably improved strength, fire resistance, sound proofing, and insulation value compared to wood-framed structures, PCA affirms, and research has shown these homes require significantly less energy to heat and cool than comparable frame houses.Moreover, ICFsÌ resistance to fire and seismic activity enabled certification of the house by the Institute for Business & Home Safety’s Fortified ÷ for safer living program. And, the home’s driveway is paved with pervious concrete pavers that allow rainwater to filter through and recharge the ground water supply.
A response to the challenge issued by DOE to the homebuilding industry to deliver 220,000 high-performance houses by 2012, the National Demonstration Home was open to attendees of the late-January International BuildersÌ Show and early-February World of Concrete, both staged at the Las Vegas Convention Center.