Lowest Cost Net-Zero Energy Home Ever Built
Oakwood Homes introduced the nation’s lowest cost Net-Zero Energy home ever built by a production builder.
The Denver home features the same cutting edge technology that has been available in homes twice as expensive and more. The difference is this home will go on the market later this year for less than $199,000.
The merging of affordability with cutting-edge energy technology reflects Oakwood Homes’ ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality homes at the lowest cost to homeowners. As the number one selling builder in the Denver area and winner of numerous customer satisfaction awards, Oakwood Homes wants to make the latest and most sought-after energy savings ideas available to homeowners of every income level. Last year, the homebuilder introduced a Net-Zero Energy Home at the $315,000 price point.
Both Net-Zero Energy homes have used the input of University of Denver seniors enrolled in Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management. Students help Oakwood Homes by managing the on-site day to day construction and assisting in the marketing and selling of the home.
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A Net-Zero Energy electric home creates at least as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. “In my research I’ve never seen one even close to a $200,000 [price point],” said John Cheney, project manager for Oakwood Homes. “This is a very price conscious new home market and we focus on what is the most economical way to achieve energy savings for the homeowner.”
Cheney estimates the Net-Zero technology adds about $10,000 to the purchase price, but that cost is offset by future energy savings. The 1,700 square foot home, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths, comes with a “Net-Zero package” which includes the following technology:
- A large solar panel array, packaged as a 20-year lease arrangement with a 20-year warranty, and costs the homeowner about one-third less than a comparable system.
- A revolutionary tankless water heater, over 94 percent efficient, which has a better ability to produce continuous, high pressure hot water than typical on-demand type water heaters.
- Ultra-energy efficient windows, featuring a 50 percent increase in low-E protection
- Electron Stimulated Luminescence™ light bulbs, featuring warmer, more natural light
- Airtight construction and use of rigid foam insulation, two building strategies that reduce energy loss even in the most energy efficient homes
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.