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Mainstream GreenHome Features Energy-Saving Systems

May 9, 2008
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Project features systems that provide the comforts of a traditional home with the energy use of a green home.

Energy-saving systems ― HVAC, plumbing, lighting, roofing, etc. ― helped reduce operating costs in the newly completed National Homebuilder Mainstream GreenHome by 70 percent.

The Mainstream GreenHome, a Cherokee project in Raleigh, N.C., is intended to show that sustainable construction is compatible with conventional building and design practices.

“It takes a great deal of energy to heat and cool a house, but our green research team found innovative ways to reduce that energy expense as much as possible,” said Jonathan Philips, senior director of Cherokee, in the home’s announcement. “By combining innovating design techniques and with the expertise of several project partners, we succeeded in creating a green HVAC system and offering solutions for builders looking to construct a home that is efficient without sacrificing comfort.” 

The system incorporates several energy-efficient, sustainable and healthy products and ideas:

  • Geothermal ― A ground source heat pump installed by TRC uses the earth’s relatively consistent year-round temperature as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer. The heat pump connects to two Florida Heat Pump units that act as heat exchangers and condensers, and tie into a duct ventilation system.


  • Radiant flooring ― Warmboard’s radiant heating system uses a solution made from a vegetable byproduct and is safe to drink, which transports heat through aluminum-coated tubing. It disperses through the aluminum coated flooring throughout the kitchen and bathrooms. Mainfolds by Viega were used for the radiant heating system. Viega piping, which allowed for sustainable and efficient design, was used throughout the home.  


  • Flexible air ducts ― ATCO rubber ducts are energy efficient and healthy for indoor air quality. They were recently awarded GREENGUARD Environmental Institute's Indoor Air Quality Certification.

  • Temperature controls ― The GreenSwitch system in the home will help to eliminate wasted energy by controlling thermostats. With the flip of a single switch, all thermostats are set to a predetermined away mode.

    The Mainstream GreenHome was recently certified as the first LEED-Platinum home in the Southeast. It also received a high score in ENERGY STAR’s Home Efficiency Rating System, and is certified as the highest rated green residence in the State of North Carolina’s green building program (NC Healthy Built Homes).

    Additionally, the home received the first ever Gold certificate through the Green Building Initiative, which is led by the Home Builders Associations representing North Carolina’s Triangle region. Finally, the home is the first to be built in a typical subdivision under National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) Model Green Home Building Guidelines.

    For more information about the Mainstream GreenHome please visit

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