We love this house because it’s so comfortable. — Sandy and Mark, Unity homeowners in Guilford, VT
Why is it that for many Unity homeowners, “comfortable” is the first word they use to describe their home? It turns out that when a home is built to be energy efficient and durable, then comfort inevitably follows. With Unity, energy efficiency and comfort go hand-in-hand.
Comfort can be defined in different ways. There’s physical comfort, which tends to be strongly influenced by our surroundings. There’s also psychological/emotional comfort, the ingredients of which are usually more subtle.
When it comes to physical comfort, temperature and humidity are two of the most important factors. Building scientists have attempted to identify temperatures and levels of humidity that correlate with physical comfort, but because the experience of comfort is so subjective, these scientific definitions tend to end up as ranges that cover many but not all people.
Unity Homes provide unusually high levels of physical comfort because in our homes, temperature and humidity are maintained in a relatively narrow range. The thick walls in our homes keep the heat in during the winter, and keep it out during the summer. The triple-glazed windows that are standard in our homes are warmer and less subject to condensation than double-glazed windows. And the precision with which we build our homes—thanks to our off-site construction methods—results in a very tight house, with virtually no drafts caused by air leakage.
Physical comfort in a home is also determined by the quality of the indoor air. It’s hard to feel comfortable in a home that is stuffy, or in which contaminants such as mold or VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) are present. Every Unity Home has a ventilation system that provides a continuous supply of fresh air into the home, while exhausting stale air. This fresh air system ensures that Unity homeowners can breathe easily.
There’s a deeper sense of comfort that is harder to measure and account for, reflecting qualities such as natural light, sound attenuation and pleasing proportions. Visitors to Unity’s show home in Walpole often remark on the quality of the space, and how it engenders a sense of peacefulness. The home is filled with daylight, and when cars drive by on the road or when the wind is howling during a winter storm, the home remains a quiet, peaceful refuge.
Regardless of how comfort is defined, we work hard to ensure that Unity homeowners experience it consistently. If you’d like to learn more about how Unity builds in comfort into each home, please visit the Events page of Unity’s website, or sign up here to be added to Unity’s mailing list.