Saturday, April 11, 2009

Imagine Homes brings green building to suburban subdivisions

As former president of Medallion Homes, John Friesenhahn knew something about building energy efficient production homes in suburban San Antonio. When he founded Imagine Homes in 2006, he took that knowledge with him.

Today, Imagine Homes have many green building features seldom found even among custom builders in San Antonio.

Of course the toilets are low flow, but Imagine Home installs low flow dual flush units to save even more water. Water heaters are on demand units, but they also use a structured plumbing system to minimize the amount of cold water that has to be flushed out before the water becomes hot.

They have embraced the closed attic system and now insulate attics as well as walls with Demilec Agribalance foam, resulting in a semi-conditioned attic in which to place duct work. Low e windows improve efficiency while low VOC paint reduces air pollution.

Each bedroom has either a return air vent or a transfer grill to make for better flow of conditioned air. The HVAC system features programmable thermostats and maintains a slight positive pressure to keep outdoor pollutants outdoors and to push indoor pollutants out. Each house is blower door tested.

1 comment:

  1. While these things are great, they don't tell you they put the tankless hot water heater outside and the pipes freeze when it gets really cold, nor do they tell you if there is not living space over the garage, they don't insulate it or put a fan in the roof to draw out the heat. I actually asked the salesman about the garage and he assured me it was insulated just like the rest of the attic. Imagine (no pun intended) my surprise when it got so hot in my garage I couldn't even put my dogs in the kennel and there was no none, zip, zilch, nada insulation in the attic over the garage at all. When I asked the builder in charge about both, he said there was nothing he could but give me a heat tape for the pipes (a cover is made for them, but Imagine Homes didn't put one on,nor will they) and nothing he could do about the garage attic. If I had it to do over, we wouldn't have bought this house because of those two things. I specifically asked about the garage because I work from home and told the salesman I had a kennel (4'x6')for my dogs to stay in when I work and that the garage could not get hot and he assured me it was insulated and I even asked if it only got 3-5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house and he assured me that was correct. I asked if the garage doors were insulated and he said yes (they are). Then to find out AFTER we bought the house that what he said was a lie just infuriated me!! It would have been different had I not asked and just assumed, but I did ask. The realtor even heard me ask. So now we have to spend quite a lot of money to insulate the attic over the garage and put in a fan in the roof so the shingles and underlay don't sweat and eventually ruin the sheathing. I am not happy and will not recommend Imagine Homes for this reason!