What makes EcoCraft homes high performance?
Our building envelopes (walls, roof, windows, and foundation) feature thick-wall construction with a minimum 1” of continuous exterior insulation. Our homes maximize performance by eliminating thermal bridges and sealing our homes up tight. By drastically reducing heating and cooling loads we can install smaller, more efficient HVAC systems at a lower cost than standard systems. Every home has a heat recovery ventilator that provides fresh air and improves air flow, as well as saves energy by further reducing heating and cooling requirements.
How is fresh air introduced into EcoCraft’s “tight” homes?
Because our homes are built so tight, there is very little natural ventilation through a leaky building envelope. To ensure exceptional indoor air quality, we install Energy Recovery Ventilators to bring fresh, filtered air into our homes for a healthy living environment.
What systems does EcoCraft use for heating and cooling its homes?
For heating, we use 98 percent-efficient, modulating, true variable speed equipment. These systems cost less to operate, and because they can ramp up or down to match the heating load precisely, they do not short cycle, which increases equipment lifecycle and drastically improves comfort. For our standard cooling system, we use air source heat pumps with VRF technology - the most efficient cooling technology available and with a SEER rating greater than 21.
Can my home have radiant floor heating or geothermal heating?
Your home could have geothermal or radiant floors but we do not recommend those systems for our high performance homes. Radiant floor heating systems are not ideal for high performance homes because they have a slow response time and they add expense. Geothermal systems are also not ideal or cost-effective for homes as efficient as EcoCraft builds.
Can my home have a fireplace?
Your home can have a fireplace but we do not recommend conventional fireplaces because they can backdraft in an air-tight home. Our homes are so comfortable that fireplaces become more of an aesthetic feature than a source of heat. We recommend considering other fireplaces such as sealed combustion or ethanol.
What sort of insulation is included?
We install un-faced fiberglass batts within the walls and floors, and blown fiberglass in the attics, along with spray foam insulation to seal air leaks. For improved indoor air quality, all insulation that we install has minimal additives. We also use rigid foam insulation on the exterior, under the siding. Most of our homes have what we call an “Energy Package,” that provides long-term energy efficiency using R-21 batts with R-5 or greater exterior foam, R-30 foundation wall, R-60 attic, plus an underslab foam option of 2” or 4” (R-10, or R-20).
Does EcoCraft employ raised heel trusses?
We build raised heel trusses in attics that drastically increase the amount of insulation that can be installed, particularly at the eaves where insulation space is the most limited. Our standard insulation package in attics is R-60 which is more than double required by code. In the attic the incremental costs of this additional insulation easily justifies the costs, and the raised heel trusses allows the insulation to be continuous, eliminating thermal bridging.