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Active House USA Shows the Future of Sustainable Living

VELUX America has unveiled Active House USA, a custom sustainable home in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves, MO that combines leading sustainability and high performance building practices from around the world.

The prototype home defines the next generation of sustainable home building in the U.S., combining expertise from leading sustainable building practices in the United States and from European Active House Alliance practices.

Active House USA, built by Hibbs Homes of St. Louis, was designed incorporating Active House Alliance standards utilized in existing Active House Homes built around the world. The home meets, or exceeds, four North American sustainable building certifications: Energy Star, EPA Indoor Air Plus, Building America Builder's Challenge and ANSI ICC-700-the National Green Building Standard.

During the house’s first year occupied by residents, the University of Missouri's Center for Sustainable Energy monitored energy consumption and indoor air quality as part of their research efforts and to help improve sustainable living standards around the country.

VELUX Group, the Danish parent company of VELUX America, was involved with the founding of the Active House Alliance in 2010 in Copenhagen Denmark. The Alliance has been involved with the construction of several Active House projects. Active House USA utilizes a combination of VELUX fresh air skylights and VELUX Sun Tunnel tubular skylights.

VELUX America says the project demonstrates to construction professionals nationwide that quality, energy efficient skylights and windows can work together to result in a highly energy efficient home.

This is not the first example of a “sustainable” home. In April, Honda unveiled its net zero energy "Smart Home" on the University of California, Davis campus. The home includes a charging facility for a Honda Fit EV, and is intended to demonstrate Honda's vision for zero-carbon living and personal mobility. The building is expected to generate a surplus of 2.6 mWh of electricity over the course of the year — a comparable home will use roughly 13.3 mWh. The offset is nearly 13,100 pounds of CO2 per year, which increases to 23,500 pounds a year if you take transportation fuel into account. Honda announced the project last year.


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