“A code-built home is the worst home you’re allowed to build by law.” Overheard at a conference they attended, this is the kind of thinking that motivates Fagin Partners, a Dallas-based father and son building team.
After buying a neighborhood of homes on Lively Lane in northwest Dallas, Connor and Kyle Fagin were eager to bring high-performance, passive-house construction to Texas. Knowing how efficient mechanical systems are essential for low-load homes, Fagin Partners utilized Mitsubishi Electric’s Zoned Comfort Solutions® and its Performance Construction Team to make the Lively Passive House a reality.
The Right System for the Job
Working with strict requirements for space heating and cooling demand, primary energy demand, airtightness and thermal comfort, the Fagins brought in Mitsubishi Electric’s Performance Construction Team on a reference from Ryall Sheridan Architects who consulted on the home’s design. “It was very important to us that the mechanicals were planned out and installed precisely for this job,” explained Connor.
Ultimately, the project team specified 2 SEZ Horizontal-Ducted Indoor Units and 1 PEAD Horizontal-Ducted Indoor Unit with MHK1 Wireless Remote Controllers for the home. They also applied a third-party energy recovery ventilator to bring in fresh, outside air. The effective Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of the equipment is 21. Once installed, the system left quite an impression, both from an efficiency and cost-savings standpoint.
Designed for Utility Savings
“The cost of electricity in Texas has increased substantially in the last year. As we don’t fit into the electric grids of the eastern or western U.S. states, Texas is more subject to price fluctuations,” explained Connor. “While we were only going from seven and a half to eight cents a kilowatt to about 11, an electricity bill is not something that’s on autopay for people. Whether you have a new construction home or an existing home, the low-hanging fruit is always the mechanicals. With our passive house, the solid mechanical layout has really pushed it over the edge of performance. That’s why we’re having these ultra-low utility bills.”
With the AC set around 70 degrees and plenty of lights on throughout the day, the home averages a $25 to $30 electric bill per month. In August 2018, the Fagin Partners earned recognition for the Lively Passive House’s top-notch design and performance as the recipients of the 2018 Best Green Built Home Award hosted by the Dallas Builders Association.
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