By David Popoff.
A Net Zero Home is a home that produces as much energy or sometimes more than it needs to operate. It achieves this by:
- Building a very insulated and air tight envelope which lowers the use of heating and cooling.
- Orientation of the home is very important to gain the benefit of passive solar in the winter and shading along with wind to cool in the summer.
- Installing better windows and doors.
- Producing its own energy by such technologies as solar and wind.
- Using Energy Star appliances and fixtures.
- Advance framing technique
You can incorporate these same techniques to build and energy efficient home that uses 50% to 90% less energy than an average new home as well.
In the Keithan Net Zero Energy Home in Killingworth, Ct. the addition construction cost to build this home was around 3 to 6% with a payback period in about 8 years. The home is actually a negative 7 Net Zero home which means at the end of the year it give back 7% of the total energy it consumes in a year, in this case electricity back to grid.
To help achieve all this, the mechanics of the home are made of:
- 65 Schuco solar photovoltaic panels
- 10 AET solar hot water panels for heating the domestic hot water and the radiant floors.
- Geothermal HVAC system is comprised of a 400-foot standing column well that is also the residences domestic water well which eliminated the cost of drilling.
For insulation of the envelope of the Keithan Connecticut Net Zero Home they installed:
- R-10 under the basement slab
- R-20 in the basement walls
- R-40 above grade walls
- R-60 in the roof.
Along with that they used Marvin triple pane U0.2 windows and R-7 doors with 7 to 10% glazing (windows) to maximize passive solar heating during the winter and with overhangs in the summer to shade the windows.
The home was designed with great air flow movement in each room and whole house with a central whole house fan to help with ventilation during spring and fall.
- For more information and pictures on the Keithan Net Zero Home in Connecticut click here.
- If you are thinking of building a new energy efficient home in Connecticut you should take a look at Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) new home construction program.
- If you an existing home in Connecticut then you should check out CL&P Home Energy Solutions program that gives you about $600 of services at a cost of $75 along with an analysis on how to energy improve your home.
David Popoff is a license real estate agent in Fairfield County, Connecticut, along with being a NAR ~ Green designee and LEED AP Home accredited by USGBC.