As many products in our life advance, there seems to be a growing sense that our biggest investment, our homes, should be improving as well. Instead, today’s houses look and function exactly like our grandparents’ did, and the process of building is one of the most daunting undertakings. It’s filled with variables and often requires a significant investment of both time and money simply to execute the most preliminary actions.
The desire for a “high performance” home – one that’s ecologically sustainable and leverages advanced technology – adds even more layers of complexity and cost. Eventually, a high performance home won’t just be a wishlist item. Soon, it will be a mandate in areas such as Boulder and Denver in Colorado and the entire state of California. Beginning in 2020, every new home in these areas must use “Zero Net Energy (ZNE)” –producing as much power on-site as it consumes.
While ZNE consumption seems to be a lofty undertaking, Y Combinator company Acre Designs offers a solution. Acre’s turnkey build process eliminates many of the typical variables, and their pre-engineered designs meet the most stringent ZNE requirements out-of-the-box. They deliver a flat-packed kit with everything a builder needs directly to the jobsite. A high performance home has the potential to be move-in ready three months later.
Part of Acre’s core technology is the zeroBOX, a drop-in appliance that replaces the entire utility room. It streamlines the work of the five costliest trades on the jobsite: plumbing, HVAC, electrical, solar and IoT (i.e., internet of Things which automates systems in houses such as A/C, heat, security, lights, electronic devices). The zeroBOX has application not only in Acre homes, but in any home that can meet the coming mandates. Developers have also found the zeroBOX to be an ideal solution for multi-family residential units.
Acre’s mission is to replace today’s out-of-date houses with innovative, attainable, high-quality homes that are better for people and the planet. To advance that mission and complete the first 20 home orders, they’re working to raise a portion of their current round on Crowdfunder. Go to Acre Designs to learn more and help build the future.