Building SIPsmart: ARCX Project Wrap Up

Reader Contribution by Michael Morley

The happy couple, Jaime and Pompie, have moved into the ARCX building and it is time for a summary of what this all means. The home fits into the East Lawrence neighborhood very well and has been accepted by most of the neighbors. I started calling this building type a “lifeboat for spaceship earth.” Bucky Fuller’s coined phrase is a good description of a building that could be built anywhere on the planet and keep the inhabitants healthy and safe and comfortable.

The home was sold for $115,000 by Tenants to Homeowners adding another affordable home to the growing list of successful projects completed by Rebecca Buford and Jeremi Lewis. The actual building costs for the structure were about $135,000 or $95/sq. ft. I am looking at that number as a baseline cost for a home with all the performance features included here.

A Home Energy Rating (HERS) was performed on this home by Jerry Bowin at the end of June. It reached an index number of 45. This is based on a scale where 100 is a standard modern home. An Energy Star home can have an index of 85. To get much lower than 45, some on-site energy would have to be generated. We would call this a near zero home. To put this into another perspective, the projected total heating, cooling and water heating costs for one year add up to $395 or $33/month.

We are looking for the next ARCX client and have a man who wants a 36-foot diameter pure dome, which should quiet some of the critics of the geometry using extensions to separate the half dome shapes. It is a very flexible design. The next blogs will focus on energy efficiency. Thanks for tuning in.

Read previous posts about this SIPS building project.