From the Ground Up | Print |
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 15 April 2010 21:30
{jcomments on}Design:

Technical Details from 
Solar Today about our home

The Design: PV, solar thermal, air-to-air heat exchanger, radiant floor, low consumption plumbing, fresh-air intake, central vacuum,  R-8 windows, vented walls (to extend life of siding and stain), propane backup for heat, cooking and drying clothes.
Floor Area: 2900 sq ft
Rooms: 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, living room, kitchen, entertainment room, and computer loft
Insulation: Walls: 2x6, plus 2 in polyisocyanurate rigid board, equaling R-38
Roof: Truss construction, R-60
Glass: R-8 Hurd Solar Glass (windows and sliding doors)
PV System: 4.2 kW (16 RWE/Schott modules), 384 sq ft
Inverters: Two Xantrex Sun Tie XRs
Thermal System: collector area, 480 sq ft; two 500-gallon storage tanks; active circulation, stage pumps, radiant floor

The home (2,900 sq. ft.) is designed so that our primary living areas (great room, dining area, kitchen, media room, master bedroom and bath, plus associated storage areas) are located on the main floor. Once you enter the house, you are in our great room...and once you see the view, it's likely you'll not want to move to any other room! Even when the walls first went up, they framed a fabulous view. Check out the plans.

The second story has two additional bedrooms, bath and storage space plus a grand work area featuring an unparalleled view of the surrounding countryside. Guess where my computer is located?


This is a stick built pre-fab sections or straw bale. Standard 2x6 framing was used. When all the layers are added up, from interior plaster to the outer siding, the exterior walls are 10 1/4 inches thick.

A vapor barrier sealed the interior, with blue board and plaster completing the interior finish. All window and door jams were filled with expanding foam insulation. Windows and sliding glass doors are R-8 Hurd Solar Glass--one of the highest R-values in the industry.

Winter View

Winter is a fascinating time in our house. The colder it is, the clearer the sky, the more 'energy harvesting' we do. Yes, we use the wood stove in the evenings for psychological comfort--not necessary, but the extra few degrees keep the house warm throughout the night. This photograph was taken by architect Steven Strong. Rob Erb, his project manager, was at the controls of a rented Cessna. This hawk's-eye view of our house was taken shortly after noon. The solar thermal panels are on the left half of the roof while the photovoltaic panels cover the right half of the roof.

Fall View

The final coat of stain along with the white trim finished off the exterior. We've now had 11 summers perched over the marsh...wonderful family gatherings powered and enhanced by the Sun.

You're invited to visit during the Annual Tour of Solar Homes, which is on the 1'st Saturday in October.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 April 2010 22:06