The Ultimate Zero Energy Now (Z.E.N.) Home in Denver, Colorado was built by Thrive Home Builders in collaboration with ProBuilder Media and the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance. Due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, the model home, which was intended to be a feature attraction at the EEBA 2020 High Performance Summit has been altered to a virtual format, but as EEBA’s Digital Media Intern, I was fortunate to have the chance to visit the Ultimate Z.E.N. home in person during a private tour with Thrive Home Builders CEO Gene Myers!
Not only is the home top of the line in high performance home building, it also manages to maintain the hominess that buyers are looking for. The entire house is open floorplan living, starting with the largest kitchen counter I have ever seen connected to the living room as soon as you walk in. The finishes and fixtures are straight out of a magazine, and the kitchen is from my dreams. Continuing the open feel of the house, the traditional dining room that is only used for holiday meals and specials occasions is replaced by an open eating area right off the kitchen, with open access to the living room. One of the home’s five bedrooms is on the main floor, perfect for working from home or hosting guests, accompanied by a full main floor bathroom.
Continuing the tour upstairs, an open loft overlooks the main entrance at the top of the grand staircase. This space is perfect for a play area, open office, or second living space. Down the hall, you will find two more bedrooms in addition to the spacious master with an on-suite bathroom and a closet so big it wraps around. Another feature that makes life just that much easier is the laundry room upstairs.
Down in the basement I was shown the true heart of the home where the energy efficiency takes shape, in addition to the fifth bedroom. The Ultimate Z.E.N. Home uses no fossil fuels, and instead utilizes a Mitsubishi electric heat pump for all of its heating and cooling. The home also uses Aprilaire high-efficiency air filters, Panasonic ventilation fans, DuPont Tyvek DrainWrap to shed away water, and LP SmartSide exterior siding which resists termites and fungal decay and is sustainably forested.
The Ultimate Z.E.N. Home is so much more than a high-performance building. It is designed to make the homeowners life easier and more carefree and is a home I would love to live in one day!