Built in the mid-90s, this 2-story home with wrap-around porch combines the charm of an older rural home with much better resource efficiency, comfort and modern convienence. Its plan is mostly open to benefit natural ventilation, passive solar and daylighting. A passive "sunspace" on the south (left side) was cut for cost reasons, but could be easily added in the future. In the meantime, large south windows admit plenty of winter sun. A solar water-heating system is mounted on the steep south roof where it's unseen from the street. A detached, similarly-styled 1-story garage with carpenter's workshop is to the right of this photo view, sited not only to optimize daylighting and ventilation, but also to allow visual supervision of children in the right-side yard. Special attention during construction minimized toxins and allergens in finishes, excessive embodied energy in building and finish materials, and environmental degradation from careless selection or use of materials and finishes.
In 2001 before solar water heating installation, energy use by the 4-person household was $1016 for electricity + 1 cord of free firewood. In 2004 after solar water heating, the household used $815 in electricity + 2.5 cords of free firewood.
Energy Efficiency Features:
R-60 attic insulation (blown-in cellulose)
R-24 wall insulation (fiberglass batts in 2x6 cavities + exterior foam wrap)
R-24 wood foundation walls, (finished from day-one)
Foam-insulation below and at edges of basement slab
Casement and awning windows placed for passive solar and natural ventilation
Tri-pane HeatMirror glazings with varied solar heat gain coefficients based on orientation
Active solar water heating
12 SEER air-to-air heatpump
Efficient low-emissions wood-burning fireplace
Compact fluorescent bulbs