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Heathwood Homes finishes its Green House, complete with $20,000 efficiency monitoring system

A house with the ability to monitor its own efficiency was completed this week, starting its year-long trial to determine the cost benefits of extreme eco-friendliness.

Heathwood Homes has set up a sort of green cage match between its Green House and another house it built to Energy Star standards nearby. Both houses will be monitored, the Green House as a model home and the Energy Star house with a family living in it (the buyers move in this July).

According to Bob Finnigan, Heathwood's chief operating officer, the Green House will use mostly LED lights, a greywater system that recycles shower water to flush the toilets, and something called Laundry Pure, which allows residents to wash clothing using only cold water, and without detergent.

"It uses ultraviolet light," Finnigan says, "and oxygen peroxide and other gases created inside this machine. Activated oxygen, essentially."

The monitoring is being done by Ryerson University, which will report the numbers back to Heathwood so they can calculate exactly how cost efficient energy efficiency on this level is.

The Green House will itself go on the market in late 2012, at which point the buyers will be given the option of keeping some of the more expensive components, like the $4,000 greywater recycling option, and the $20,000 monitoring system.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Bob Finnigan

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