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Old 03-16-10, 07:21 AM   #1
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Default Zero (actually positive) energy home in MA

Another pull from builditsolar.

Wonderful looking home with excellent insulation. I love this quote:

Quote:
Manual J design heating load = 7,500 btu/hr (2,200 watts) at -5F. This means you could warm this house with eleven 200 watt light bulbs on a cold winter’s night when it is -5F outside!
The R4.8 windows (wow thats high to begin with) have interior shutters with polyiso insulation to boost R value to 12 when shut! Love that idea.

Other features include:
  • 79% efficient HRV
  • 8ft^2 Sundazer chest refrigerator that uses 33 kWh per year (normal ones uses that much per month at least)
  • All fluorescent/cfl lights
  • Fujitsu 9RLQ mini-split air source heat pump (SEER 21, HSPF 11)
  • 26 Evergreen 190-watt panels and a Fronius inverter for 4.94 Kilowatts
  • two 4’ x 8’ flat plate solar hot water collectors with Stiebel-Eltron electric on demand hot water heater

There is much more in the article, but the amazing thing is this:
2009 energy usage
Power used - 1949 kWh
Power produced - 4892 kWh

Simply amazing! Be sure to check out the link. Its got some great pics.

The house cost $180k to build which really isn't that bad IMO. The PV is probably a large chunk of that though.

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Old 03-16-10, 12:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
The house cost $180k to build which really isn't that bad IMO. The PV is probably a large chunk of that though.
This is an outstanding price in the great state of Tax-achusetts.
According to US Home Prices and USA Heat Map - Trulia Real Estate Search - Trulia.com last weeks average sale price for a single family here was $549,764 . When you factor in near zero utility costs if not a net profit. Sign me up....
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Old 03-16-10, 01:13 PM   #3
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I really like it and there are a couple of ideas worth retrofitting into existing structures. I believe that the window coverings to minimize heat loss when desired and the heat recovery ventilator (HRV) could be added to many existing homes.

There are many people who will complain about their utility bills, but a much smaller number will actively try to lower their energy consumption. I'm proud to be part of the number who are working to lower their consumption.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:40 PM   #4
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I guess I have a zero (really positive) energy home, since my solar electric system is generating about three times as much electricity as I use. There is an eight article description of it in the "Rants and Raves" section of my website, whenever my links are allowed to show.
 
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Old 07-29-11, 06:58 PM   #5
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Wow. I just ran across this post while searching for something else entirely. Oddly enough a friend of mine made this house. He lives right around the corner from me. A lot of the results from the house are due to the frugality of the woman who owns it. Like she's pretty fastidious about closing the shutters at night. My friend told me that last winter in February, which was pretty cold this last year, she went away for a week, turned the heat off entirely and when she came back seven days later the house was 59 degrees. This nearly drove me to distraction since at the time I was paying about $100 a month to keep my house at about 59! The house does have crazy triple pane windows but my friend said that if it were his house he'd put double pane windows in and just build inserts for $20 each which add two more panes.

Oh one other thing: R 30 under the slab and R 100 something in the ceiling. She said it only cost $300 more to take the blow to 30" so why not?
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Old 07-30-11, 06:51 AM   #6
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Thanks for bumping this while I was passing through. This is the kind of house that I'm thinking about building. It doesn't meet Passivhaus standards, but that's fine. It comes close enough.

The plans are available online. I see it's just over 1000 square feet.

I'm surprised: by going with a 1:2 aspect ratio (24'x48', instead of 34'x34'), they only increased the perimeter of the house (with which scales cost and heat loss) by about 10%.



I stared at this picture for a while. I'm not saying that it matters much, but I will point out that this house is terribly ugly. One reason is that it isn't finished. A house needs more than a 1' concrete footer and a dead flat, monocrop lawn. A garden, patio, or shrubbery would help out a great deal. Also, the black "thermal air panel" damages the symmetry of the south wall.

I want a house with an exterior that evokes durability. The unevenly washed wood paneling does not. The sheet metal roof works for me, but clashes with the siding. To each, his own. But I'm getting ideas for a future build. Maybe a "Quonset hut in quonset hut" design, with a hard vacuum between the two huts. Or cellulose.

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I guess I have a zero (really positive) energy home, since my solar electric system is generating about three times as much electricity as I use. There is an eight article description of it in the "Rants and Raves" section of my website, whenever my links are allowed to show.
stonemarmot.com/rants
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Old 07-30-11, 06:16 PM   #7
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I agree it is fairly plain looking, but I'd like to see it in person.

They have plans available:

Full Plans for Award Winning Net Zero Energy Home
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Old 07-30-11, 09:42 PM   #8
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"with a hard vacuum between"!!! LOL!! Now that's what I'm talkin bout!!


Since I've 'discovered' Solar screens, I'm pretty sure that a good design idea
for this area is, loads of south facing multi-pane windows for winter heating.
With full solar screens, that cut down solar gain by 80% to 90% during the summertime.

And of course a modern mini-split as the main heating system.
Maybe a gas backup for the super cold days..


Without that solar gain, that Zero house would have been a lot cooler after
a week without heat..
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Old 07-31-11, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Without that solar gain, that Zero house would have been a lot cooler after
a week without heat..
She actually had the insulated shutters shut.
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Old 07-31-11, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
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She actually had the insulated shutters shut.
There was a heat source somewhere in there. Had to be.
Unless the insulation is working like a good vacuum Thermos Bottle..

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