West / Regional Reports

Bob Vila Building ‘EnergyWise’ Home In California

Bob Vila’s EnergyWise House in Palm Springs, Calif., is currently under construction.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Bob Vila is in the process of building an elaborate 3,200-square-foot multi-level home here. Vila said his “EnergyWise House” is to showcase energy-efficient design ideas and will incorporate high performance building materials and environmentally sound products, designed to “outperform traditional building products in any building or remodeling project making.”

Vila’s central cooling and heating system is coming from SpacePak, a division of Mestek Inc. According to J. Jones, chief operations officer for Pacific Tradewinds, LLC, Newport Beach, Calif., SpacePak was chosen “because no other system can provide such superior comfort, efficiency and ease of installation.”

Shaun Stenn (left) and Martin Trujillo (right) of Breeze Air Conditioning, Palm Desert, Calif., assist with the installation of the cooling and heating system in Bob Vila’s unique home.
All of the materials being used to construct the EnergyWise House are off-the-shelf products readily available today. According to Vila, the emphasis of his EnergyWise house is on innovation, especially when it comes to energy savings and environmentally-conscious building design.

Two 4-ton SpacePak heat pump systems will be installed in the main house, with a 2-ton SpacePak heat pump system going into the 600-square-foot guest house. Installation will be completed by Breeze Air Conditioning, Palm Desert, Calif.

“This is a fantastic project. SpacePak will provide a complete heating and cooling solution that is also highly efficient. The comfort is unmatched and the installation is uncomplicated,” said Joe Coker, president of Breeze Air Conditioning.

SpacePak uses flexible supply tubing and KwikConnects, all designed to make a simple, airtight installation.
According to SpacePak, all of the units to be used in the unique home feature a six-row copper tube-aluminum fin evaporator coil, designed to remove up to 30 percent more humidity than a conventional coil and utilize narrow, flexible supply tubing that can be run between walls and ceilings much like electrical wiring. Small air outlets about the size of a CD are the only visible component of the SpacePak system, it said. Outlets can be installed in the ceiling, walls, or floors, and can be painted or wallpapered to match decor. Custom oak outlets are also available for installation in wood floors, paneling, and log homes.

Publication date: 05/19/2003

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