Low Energy Dream House ( Solar Thermal Magazine ). – My wife and I are considering selling our home and building a smaller house set up for two people that makes efficient use of space and uses as little energy as possible. Since I make my living as an industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy expert this should be right up my alley right? It also sounds like a lot of fun designing our perfect new place that we will enjoy for many years to come. We started looking for designs off the internet for net zero or super-insulated homes which got us thinking about what we wanted to do.
Here is the first video we liked that shows what is possible when you super insulate a home in Falmouth Maine. The design uses traditional, simple forms with thoughtfully placed windows and overhangs to take advantage of the views and to create a livable, open and modest plan.
According to the video the increased level of performance created by this building system, along with solar tubes on the roof, will allow the occupants to significantly downsize their mechanical system and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels at a cost of less than $175 per square foot (excluding garage/porch). This was produced in 2009 so keep that in mind for the price per square foot.
The second video we found useful is appropriately titled , Building A Passive Solar House in the Sub-Arctic
The Grunaus are building a super low-energy home in Fairbanks that uses solar, biomass, thermal storage, and a super-insulated shell to go entirely off fossil fuels for heating–a very new idea in this climate. This house embodies many of the principles that the Cold Climate Housing Research Center has researched and demonstrated, such as a tight double wall insulated with cellulose, seasonal heat storage, and good ventilation. In this video, homeowner and CCHRC engineer Bruno Grunau describes the design of the house and mechanical systems, and builder Jake Timm shares his experience with the unconventional building techniques.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.