Performance Specifications

Unity Homes was founded to make higher quality homes accessible to more people. We are particularly passionate about the performance of our homes, because when a home is built to perform well, so many other benefits follow: healthy indoor air, greater comfort, lower operating costs and increased durability, to mention a few.

High Performance as Standard:

At Unity, we have worked hard to optimize those elements of the home that have the greatest impact on performance, namely the exterior shell and the mechanical systems. We haven’t followed any particular program or prescription, but rather have taken an integrated approach that views the home as a system, and provides what clients have found to be excellent value.

The performance of a Unity Home with baseline specifications compares well to the standards set by established building certification programs such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Home program, or the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home program. If a Unity client would like to have a particular level of certification, Unity can provide it—at no upcharge for Energy Star certification, and for a modest cost, to cover administrative and third-party expenses, for Zero Energy Ready Home certification.

Structure and Shell Specifications

StandardOptions/Upgrades
FoundationSlab-on-grade with frost wallsFull basement foundation, Crawlspace foundation
Wall AssemblyHigh-performance Open Built wall (R-33)
Roof SystemRoof trusses above 9’ high ceilings (R-50),
Insulated roof panels above vaulted ceilings (R-50)
2nd Floor SystemI-joist framing and Advantech subfloor
Interior TimbersDouglas fir glulams
Exterior TimbersPort Orford cedar
WindowsTriple-glazed tilt-turn windows
Entry DoorsStain-grade fiberglass doors by Masonite

Mechanical Systems:

Thanks to their superior insulation and air-tightness, Unity Homes can be heated and cooled with mechanical systems that are relatively simple and small. Air source heat pumps (also called mini splits) are the system of choice, because they are highly efficient, and they do not burn fossil fuels. Some clients will opt to upgrade the basic system to include ducts for distributing conditioned air to distant rooms.

Equipment that provides a continuous supply of fresh air is standard on every Unity Home. These heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) or energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) bring fresh outside air into the home, exhaust stale, moist air out of the house, and preserve the interior air temperature in the process.

Unity offers several options for heating hot water for sinks and showers, including a well-insulated electric resistance water heater, and a heat pump water heater.

mechanical system specification

StandardOptions/Upgrades
Heating and CoolingMitsubishi air source heat pump with wall cartridgesAir source heat pump with ducted distribution
VentilationLifebreath heat recovery ventilator (HRV)
Hot WaterElectric resistance water heaterHeat pump water heater