In big and small ways, consumers continue to make the mind shift toward sustainable living, which is why the industry buzz continues to be strong around the groundbreaking Flex House.
“It’s an exciting time to be on the cutting edge of SPF insulation technology,” says Jeremy Parker, Director of Spray Foam Strategy, Accella. “The Flex House represents not just the present market demand, but the future, which will be 100% focused on sustainability and flexibility.”
According to Parker the opportunity in the building industry will be homes like Shelter Dynamic’s Flex House that produce as much energy as they use, a cultural shift that positions building efficiency products front and center in the marketplace.
“The good news is that closed-cell SPF insulation is an unmatched solution for houses where energy cost and maximum efficiency living is important,” says Parker.
The architectural concept of the Flex House is called “right-sized living,” meaning design and construction decisions pivot on flexibility, allowing homeowners to modify their home as their needs change. Through every stage of life, modules can be added and removed from the basic 760-foot plan. Daily homeowners will use only the resources they need — energy, water, living space — no more, no less.
Flex House Highlights:
- A 100% acrylic liquid-applied roof coating from Accella that is self-flashing, waterproof, durable, and weather resistant.
- High-performance, closed-cell SPF insulation from Accella that contributes to a net-zero energy building envelope.
- High-performance windows, spray-foam insulation, tankless water heater, mini-split HVAC system, smart lighting, advanced appliances, and indoor air quality systems.
- A sophisticated smart home system that monitors energy, water, and indoor air quality. The system also senses fire or other dangers, monitors healthcare devices, protects the home WiFi network from hackers, and monitors weather threats.
- Photovoltaic panels and solar battery backup system.
- Zero energy-ready and able to operate apart from a municipal energy grid.
- Affordability: Base model ranges from $85,000 to $100,000.
- Modular construction, which allows the home to be built off-site and trucked almost anywhere.
- Flashing systems that extend building life, alleviate moisture and reduce the home’s carbon footprint.
According to Parker, Accella’s closed-cell SPF insulation and liquid-applied roof coating proved key in effectively sealing the Flex House’s modules together during assembly and providing a waterproof barrier over the whole home.
“Energy costs are the largest cost associated with homeownership,” says Parker. “With a high-performance exterior wall system and SPF insulation, energy costs of the Flex Home can be reduced by 75%.”
Some of the challenges associated with the Flex Home will be communicating the long-term savings to the homeowner in energy and resource costs.
“There’s a perceived cost that makes homeowners initially shy away at energy efficient homes, so it will be key that architects and builders communicate the long-term savings,” says Parker. “Sustainable living is the future and houses like this echo that.”
Shelter Dynamics expects the Flex House to go into production in about a year.