Atmore firm to help with Habitat build

Published 5:55pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

By Stephanie Nelson

For The Advance

Saturday is projected to be a perfect day to volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity building for the Mollenbrink family.

But Ron Zundel and the staff at Legend Timber Construction have worked to help the local Habitat chapter for more than a year. This will be the second HFH build for the company, but the first of its kind for the company — and the county.

The Mollenbrinks’ home will take energy efficiency to a new level, Zundel said.

“When you think of a standard home like mine and yours that was built 15 to 20 years ago, it’s going to have a CER level — which is the way energy efficiency is measured — of around 120,” Zundel said. “A house built five to 10 years ago would score between 75 and 80.

“This house that we’re building, it’s going to come in at a 24,” he said. “That’s a step below a ‘net zero’ home, which is amazing.”

A net zero home is one with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.

The Mollenbrinks’ three bedroom, two bath, 1,200-square-foot home was creatively designed by students at Auburn University and is described as a “hyper energy efficient home,” Zundel said.

“It features thicker insulation in the walls, the floors and the roof line and uses a split-HVAC system,” he said. “In terms of dollars and cents, since it’s an all electric home, her power bill should average $75 to $90 a month at peak usage.”

Zundel said all homeowners could reap the benefits of energy efficiency without constructing a new home.

“The biggest thing to make a home energy efficient is to tighten the house up,” he said. “There’s an old wives’ tale that for a house to not have moisture issues, the house has to breathe. That’s not true.

“It’s true you need fresh air in a house so not to breathe recycled air, but you need to stop as many of those cracks that you can to keep the home insulated.”

In the Mollenbrink home, which is located in the Holt Subdivision in Flomaton, Zundel is using small fans to induct air into the home.

Saturday’s raise the wall build will begin at 8 a.m. Volunteers are welcome.

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