C.R. Herro knows a lot about sustainable construction. As Vice President of Innovation for Meritage Homes (the eighth largest homebuilder in the nation), he leads programs focused on renewable energy, efficiency, and advanced building science. Now he’s channeling that expertise to design and build a template for sustainability that can be replicated across the country.
“I have had the itch for some time to take the best practices that I know and build a home that is an example of everything practical and pragmatic,” Herro says.
Called VISION House Seattle Cascades, Herro’s latest project is meant to demonstrate that a home can be highly sustainable while offering modern amenities and saving costs over the long term. Located on a spectacular 20-acre parcel approximately 30 miles southeast of Seattle at the base of Mount Rainier National Park, VISION House will double as Herro’s personal residence.
For its moving glass walls and windows, VISION House will exclusively feature Western Window Systems’ Series 7000 Performance line. Designed to address energy and structural requirements, the Series 7000 line is also completely customizable — its thin profiles and large expanses of glass are perfect for the home’s contemporary style.
“I want to include long pieces of glass that are structurally sound as well as beautiful and will let me take in the views, all with no concerns about durability,” Herro says.
Herro’s positioning of glass will allow VISION House to take full advantage of the often-fleeting Pacific Northwest sun. Other features of the 2,000-square-foot home include insulated concrete walls, light-gauge steel interior framing, solar power panels, and an atmospheric generator for water production.
Calling the home “a call to action for the industry,” Herro will be working alongside architect Stace McGee, founder of Environmental Dynamics, Green Builder Media, and award-winning green builder Ron Jones. The team’s primary objectives include demonstrating that an off-grid, zero-energy home doesn’t have to forgo modern amenities or sophisticated design and the “cost to value relationship,” which will show that every dollar spent in the home will be outweighed by its future performance.
For Herro, the property is a perfect example of the marriage between form and function. “I’m excited about the functionality,” he says, “but also the visual impact and design.”
VISION House Seattle Cascades is scheduled to break ground in the fall of 2019 and be completed by summer 2020.