Unity is pleased to be named a Top 10 Product for 2016, by BuildingGreen, a leading publisher of independent environmental building news. The awards have been given out for 14 years in honor of products that transform the design and construction industry, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving energy, and incorporating durable safe materials. Alex Wilson, BuildingGreen founder, has said of the Top-10: “We are thrilled to call attention to these products, which are helping to create more sustainable, greener buildings throughout North America.”
In response to the news, Unity founder Tedd Benson writes, “Most Top 10 lists are in honor of past accomplishments. At Unity, we like to think of this as a challenge to do even better in the future. Our charge is to constantly improve performance and quality (beauty, function, durability) while simultaneously driving down cost, in order to make high-performance homes widely available, affordable, and normal. With all of these challenges, it’s going to be a long journey, so it’s humbling to receive this award when we feel we’re just beginning!”
In announcing the award BuildingGreen’s Brent Ehrlich explained why Unity made the Top 10:
“Most single-family and multifamily homes are still stick-built onsite using minimal insulation, poor air sealing, poor quality control, inefficient HVAC systems, and unsustainable materials. Unity Homes is changing that paradigm with its high-performance panelized home system.
“These homes are shop-built to the highest quality standards using materials that are milled with computer numeric control (CNC) equipment to help create panelized wall systems and “pods” (small prefab modules used for bathrooms, mechanical rooms and kitchens) with tight seals, minimal thermal bridging, and superb moisture management. The walls are insulated with cellulose to R-35, and roofs are insulated to between R-38 and R-44. Other energy-saving features include triple-pane low-e windows, custom-built insulated doors, mini-split heat pumps, HRV/ERVs for fresh air, and heat-pump water heaters—making it easy for a baseline Unity Home to meet net-zero with onsite renewables. While already minimizing material waste and operating energy, the company is also evaluating its materials in hopes of minimizing embodied carbon and other embodied impacts in the future.
“Unity Homes also uses FSC-certified wood and low-VOC finishes and adhesives, yet can still offer significant cost savings over site-built homes. And though Unity Homes are built in a shop, there are four design platforms that can be customized using sophisticated CAD-CAM technology, with multi-family and ‘tiny’ house options in the works.”
To read about all the BuildGreen Top 10 winners for 2016, click here.