Sustainability is one of our core values at Kendal-Crosslands Communities, and whenever we add new homes to our community, we ensure they are built with sustainable practices in mind. The “new cottages” at Kendal at Longwood were built a few years ago, using LEED standards– a holistic approach used in designing the buildings to make them as environmentally friendly and as energy efficient as possible. Over time, standards are changing, but our commitment to sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices has not. That’s why the new cottages and apartments being built on our Crossland’s Campus will be Zero Energy Ready Homes.
What is a Zero Energy Ready Home?
The Department of Energy has a Zero Energy Ready Home program, focused on increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor air quality, and making homes “zero energy” ready. Homes that meet this standard are at least 40-50% more energy efficient than typical new homes, and this efficiency goes beyond design. The practices and standards must be verified by a third-party during and after the building process to earn the proper certification. You can read more about it by clicking here.
Practically speaking, this means that the homes will be built to be all electric. They will use high-efficiency inverter heat pumps for heating and cooling, eliminating the need for using other more polluting energy sources. It also means that we can ensure that our electric energy sources are coming from renewables, and in the future, we hope to add solar panels to the buildings to help generate a large portion of the energy used by the buildings on site, rather than purchased from clean sources on the grid. Appliances will be energy star rated. High efficiency windows will be used, and extra insulation added as well. Even the hot water and shower heads will meet high-efficiency standards.
Scott Pusey, from Steven Winter Associates, a respected national firm specializing in helping builders meet sustainability standards, is part of the third-party team working with our architects, Lenhart Rogers, to ensure the new construction will meet the Zero Energy Ready Home standard. Scott pointed out that one of the important factors in getting the homes to be Zero-energy ready is to make sure the indoor air quality or IAQ in the buildings is very high as well.
Indoor Air Quality Means Quality of Life as Well
As we all learned during the pandemic, Indoor Air Quality is important. It can help keep you healthy, reduce respiratory illnesses, and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. The advanced ventilation and filtration systems in the buildings should help make these new homes even more attractive, as the residents benefit from this high standard. While each home is being built “tight” to help reduce energy loss through cracks and gaps, it’s also important to make sure the homes are vented properly and air circulates well to improve indoor air quality. Even the drywall and other building materials will be certified to make sure they do not contribute to any indoor air quality issues.
Meeting Standards for the Community
Scott is excited to be a part of this important project at Kendal-Crosslands Communities. Not only does it allow him to work on a project close to where his Dad grew up in Avondale,
This project also has a personal connection for Scott. Scott’s grandmother was a former resident of Crosslands, and Scott remembers visiting her often when in the area. Scott also has an Aunt who is a current resident of Kendal at Longwood as well, so being part of this important project feels like coming home.
We expect we’ll see a lot of Scott as he keeps an eye on the project throughout construction, to ensure that the building will meet all of the standards for a Zero Energy Ready home. And this means that the buildings will not only be energy-efficient and thus less expensive to keep up, but the increased air quality systems will make them healthier buildings as well. We will be doing our part to help the planet by saving energy, while meeting our commitment to continue to transform the experience of aging for the better for all our residents.