Described as the "Net Zero Energy-Concrete Habitat for Humanity Home of the Future," other cement-based products such as a pervious concrete driveway, concrete countertops, and integral color concrete floors display the versatility and desirability of using these materials. One of the measurable energy savings is that instead of a code-prescribed 4-ton HVAC unit, the Habitat home required only 1.5 ton.
Arriving as a pre-engineered "kit", a four-man crew offloaded and set the HercuWall perimeter walls for Habitat's 1,320 sq. ft home in roughly 2.5 hours and poured the concrete in less than two hours. No site modification of the system was required, eliminating jobsite clutter affiliated with traditional systems. Window and door opening "blanks" are recycled by the foam supplier.
Termed Beyond ICF technology, the HercuWall panels are manufactured to match the plate height of the wall and can be manufactured up to 12 ft. tall. Requiring minimal bracing, the poured panels remain in place with the foam and concrete acting as R30 insulation. Taller walls can be built by stacking the panels on top of each other. True curved wall sections like turrets, for example, can be manufactured at any radius required by the architect.
Integral hardware ensures that rebar is placed securely and positioned correctly every time with minimal effort. There is no guessing; eliminating problems. Full height metal furring strips, which are spaced on 24-in. centers on each side of the panels, serve as fastening points for interior drywall and ready for exterior surfaces with a choice of stucco, brick, stone, or siding finishes.
Features of a LEED certified home include: improved indoor air quality, durability of construction, minimized environmental footprint, increased water efficiency, and improved energy efficiency. This home also achieved a Certified Environments For Living Home-Certified Green and EFL Platinum Certified.
By demonstrating the affordability of using energy-efficient, green technologies like HercuWall in entry-level housing, this translates to cost savings for custom and production builders. With the ability to build faster, stronger, and smarter, contractors can differentiate themselves as the consumer's preferred green alternative. Palmer shares, "Not only have we developed a high-performance home that will exceed the stringent regulations set forth in the current Energy Bill for new home construction, but more importantly, we have provided a very high quality and beautiful home for a deserving family."