Home Building Curiosities: Go Home
Welcome to our fifth Home Building Curiosity….Go Home! A division of Go Logic, Go Home is a design/build prefab Passive House enthusiast leading the way in energy efficient design and the continuation of learning.
Maine based, Go Homes are inspired by their local region’s natural landscape, as well as by its history, people, and culture.
All of their Go Homes meet Passive House (PHIUS) standards, and are prefabricated through a honed panelization process.
An advocate for building homes that have the earth and future generations in mind, Go Home makes all their homes go passive.1 Achieving Passive House certification means that homes will use less energy, thereby paving the road to being net zero, or even net positive. A house requiring less energy to function, means less energy is needed in the first place (aka, a Passive House needs less solar panels than a traditional home built to code does in order to meet all energy needs).
Their homes’ air-tightness meet “or exceeds” Passive House (PHIUS) standards at .6 air changes per hour at 50 pascals (.6 ACH @ 50 Pa).2 And their homes are all crazy well insulated, as you shall read in the ‘prefabricated’ section.
They offer heat-recovery and energy-recovery ventilation systems with all of their homes. Three pane, high quality, windows are also utilized and placed accordingly to maximize heat gains from solar energy.
Go Home’s commitment to making not only their homes, but the world, Passive, can be admirably summed up in their last paragraph on their “Passive House” page: “The GO Home and our parent firm, GO Logic, have designed and built 112,000 square feet of buildings that perform at least ten times better than required by code. It’s the only way we build. Given everything we know, it’s the only way that makes sense.”3
Their prefab process makes Go Homes going passive much more efficient. Go Home focuses on a panelization approach. Wall panels are prefabricated in their factory, and then: “…the panels, complete with building wrap, windows and exterior insulation installed, are then delivered to the building site and craned into place on a foundation that has been constructed in advance. A prefabricated-truss roof follows, yielding a weathertight, air-sealed building shell in less than two weeks of on-site construction.”4
For their wall panels, they may not use our personally beloved cross laminated timber, but they do use 2×8 stud framing, a zip system for air and moisture barrier, a building wrap creating an additional air barrier and drainage plain, and six inches of rigid rock wool insulation…all of which have been tested and proven through a Maine Technology Institute research grant. These wall panels have an R-value of 50. Maine’s current building code standard (the International Energy Conservation Code – IECC – of 2009) only calls for a minimum R-20 for walls in zone 6, Maine’s primary climate zone.5
Their foundation is done on-site prior to the delivery of the home’s panels. Their patented foundation is a superinsulated, shallow, concrete yielding an R-value of 35. Here, 2009 building code for zone 6 only calls for a minimum R-value of 10 for a slab foundation.
The homes’ roofs bolster an R-80 thermal performance with their prefab wood trusses, zip system air barrier, and 24 inches of blown-in cellulose insulation.6 An R-value of 80 is hardcore. An R-49 is the minimum requirement for zone 6 according to 2009 building code. When Go Home said they build to not only surpass, but crush standard building code…they meant it.
While consumers have a wide selection of standard home models to choose from~ ranging from a two-story 2,500 sq/ft home at $567,000.00, to a one-story 600 sq/ft home at $175,000.00~ Go Home does provide their buyers with additional freedom in choosing their home’s individual details. Go Home patrons can customize the color and material of their home’s exterior siding and roof, the type of windows (all three-pane imported from Germany), style of flooring, doors and door handles…the shower, toilet, faucet types, shower heads, cabinetry… William and I equated it to when you go to purchase a Porsche and have fun playing with all of the design options which make you feel unique. Not that either of us have ever in our life purchased a Porsche…but William has fun fantasizing. Of course, all of the elements of the homes come with a ‘customization’ option. So, if you would rather cabinets that were not made by Ikea, Go Home can make it happen.
For home buyers in any of the states Go Home serves beyond Maine (New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania), they have a special system. They will still deliver to you your home’s prefab parts as well as detailed construction drawings, but a local general contractor will be required to supply some of the necessary labor in the home’s assembly and site preparation.
The efficiencies of their homes allow them to be net zero ready. While the homes themselves do not come equipped with solar panels, the Passive House quality of the homes helps the homeowners get more ‘bang for their buck’ when independently purchasing their own solar panels. A more efficient home means less solar panels are necessary.
Small Footprint and Healthy Living
Go Home makes the attempt to use all natural materials in the construction and design of their homes. They use zero-VOC paints and formaldehyde free cabinetry. When they install your plumbing, they use water-conserving fixtures.
They are also invested in a strong continuation of research and development, and are currently “collaborating with the University of Maine and Maine Technology Institute to develop a high performance nanocellulose wood fiber insulation that could yield a renewable, low-embodied-energy alternative to rigid foams derived from fossil fuels.”7
That. Is fantastic. Pushing forward with the mentality that we still have much to learn, and that as a business, as a society…as an individual, we can always do better.
Go Home, overall, provides healthy living and small footprint homes through their commitment to energy efficient building…as well as through their dedication to expanding their knowledge on sustainable building and design. William and I are excited to have yet another Home Building Curiosity to cheer on in their sustainable building endeavors.
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more tidbits of learning and self-betterment!
1. Ha. Get it? Go Home go passive. Yes.
2. “Standard Specifications,” Go Home by Go Logic. https://thegohome.us/how-its-made/standard-specifications/. Accessed on 24 June, 2020. Quick note: I am not sure if this reflects PHIUS 2018 standards, which have only recently been released. PHIUS 2018 now measures airtightness in cfm50 per ft2.
3. “Passive House,” Go Home by Go Logic. https://thegohome.us/how-its-made/passive-house/. Accessed on 23 June 2020.
4. “Panelization,” Go Home by Go Logic. https://thegohome.us/how-its-made/panelization/. Accessed on 23 June 2020.
5. International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009. “Energy Conservation Code 2009 of Maine- Chapter 4 Residential Energy Efficiency- Table 402.1.1 Insulation and Fenestration Criteria,” UpCodes. https://up.codes/viewer/maine/iecc-2009/chapter/4/residential-energy-efficiency#402.1.1. Accessed on 8 July, 2020.
6. “Standard Specifications,” Go Home by Go Labs. https://thegohome.us/how-its-made/standard-specifications/. Accessed on 23 June, 2020.
7. “Our Story,” Go Home by Go Logic. https://thegohome.us/our-story/. Accessed on 23 June, 2020.
© 2020 Sustaining Tree
© 2020 Sustaining Tree