May 2021 – Featured on Built Green’s Website – Along a few blocks on Bagley Ave. N there are three new Built Green 5-Star certified homes by Dwell Development. Designed with energy efficiency in mind, as well as homeowner comfort, all of Dwell’s projects include their standard sustainability features such as triple-pane windows, double 2×4 walls, and heat recovery ventilators (HRVs).

By framing their walls with two 2x4s, they have the flexibility to stagger studs so they do not align, reducing the potential for thermal bridging. Thermal bridging occurs when a more conductive material (such as a wood stud) provides a direct path between the cold outside air and the warm inside air. By staggering 2×4 studs, Dwell is able to break up that path with a cavity of insulation, which helps to minimize that transmission. They are also able to leave a gap between the two walls and change how thick their walls are.

For the Bagley projects, the walls are roughly 10 inches thick and completely filled with blown-in cellulose insulation. Having such a thick, well-insulated exterior wall makes these houses very quiet and easily able retain to heat or cold produced by the HVAC system.

Although the three houses are composed of two different projects, all three units are heated using ductless mini-split heat pumps, with Envi wall heaters as supplemental heat. Water heating is done via a hybrid heat pump water heater with a temperature-based recirc system. Since all of Dwell’s houses are 100% electric, homeowners can offset all their energy usage by adding solar panels; Dwell prewires for solar.

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