Unity is known for building homes unusually quickly, but the show home that’s being featured at this year’s Greenbuild Conference and Trade Show in Washington D.C. will set a new bar for speed. Rapid on-site construction is one of the reasons that organizers of Greenbuild, the premier conference and expo for the green building industry, chose a Unity Home to be the centerpiece of the conference trade show that opens on November 18 in Washington, D.C. Our ambitious plan is to assemble the prefabricated components of this home over the course of two days inside the trade show hall. Once it is completed, we expect that upwards of 1,200 conference attendees will tour the Greenbuild Unity show home.
Unity’s partners in the show home include Hanley Wood Media, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, and 16 sponsoring companies representing the best of the green building industry.
According to Rick Schwolsky, project manager for Hanley Wood, “When we set our goals for this year’s Greenbuild show home we knew we had to find a builder with an impressive track record — one who was committed to the highest levels of sustainability, experienced with integrated design, intent on incorporating innovations, and uncompromising on the quality of construction — who could pull off this complex demonstration project on an impossibly tight timeline. Our search led us straight to Tedd Benson and the Unity Homes team, who have embraced every aspect of this exciting project from the start. We couldn’t have found a better partner. “
Living up to the hype has not been easy, in part because we pushed ourselves to innovate on several fronts. We chose the design of the house not because it would be simple to build — it’s not — but because we thought that it would present well at the conference, and provide an inspiring showcase for our capabilities. The tight time frame required that we eliminate the need for any “wet” finishes during the final assembly — a two-day construction schedule leaves no time for joint compound or paint to dry. Because we will be disassembling the home after the conference and re-erecting it on a site in New Hampshire, we had to develop innovative solutions for fitting and securing prefabricated panels.
As company founder Tedd Benson has noted, “The biggest challenge with an extremely compressed schedule like this is to maintain Unity’s high level of quality.” To successfully meet this challenge, the Unity team drew on Bensonwood’s long heritage of precision prefabrication and “blitz builds.”
The 1,620-square-foot home is based on the contemporary “Zūm” platform — one of four design platforms currently offered by Unity. Each platform is customizable according to a client’s budget, site, living style, and design preferences. The Greenbuild Zūm features a modern, light-filled and open-plan aesthetic. The construction is typical Unity: durable, highly energy efficient, comfortable and healthy. The home has been planned, designed, constructed, inspected and tested according to LEED for Homes version 4 program requirements, and is anticipated to achieve Platinum certification when moved to its permanent site in New Hampshire after Greenbuild.
Given the broad exposure to the green building industry that Greenbuild will provide for Unity Homes, Benson is calling the upcoming conference Unity’s “National Launch.”
“As we prepare to expand to other regions, we are thrilled to have the honor and opportunity to bring one of our homes to Greenbuild,” says Benson. “Together with Hanley Wood and our world-class material and equipment manufacturer partners, we’re anxious to demonstrate to the discerning Greenbuild participants the Unity way of building.”