Started in 2009 and completed in late 2011, Project Green Home is a Palo Alto, California project initiated by the Thesen family, in partnership with Arkin Tilt Architects to create a low-impact, “Zero-Net Energy” home.
Graduate students from both Stanford and Berkely were enlisted to help in the design of a home that would produce as much energy as it consumed, balancing both electricity and gas consumption as well as the hidden energy costs of water usage.
The design concepts included:
- Passive Solar – Leverage winter sun for heat, south facing windows for main living spaces
- Passive Ventilation – Skylights near the roof ridge located to passively ventilate the house
- 2×8 studs at 24″ spacing – Optimum VAlue Engineered (OVE) framing uses wood only where structurally necessary
- Insulated Headers – All headers are wrapped in expanded polysteyrene (EPS) insulating them from outside temperatures
- Unvented roof – An exception to building code was received for this extremely efficient full cavity insulation roof design.
- White Roof – simply a light coloured roof to reflect sunlight and keep the house cool.
- Air Admittance Valves (AAVs) – reduce the number of plumbing air vents and breaks in roof integrity and number of thermal bridges they create.
- Radiant Floor Heating – radiant slabs deliver heat using very lukewarm water vs the very high heat required with other means.
- Daikin Altherma heat pump water heater – an expensive option compared to traditional heaters, but less expensive than the photovaltaic panels that would have been required to power the traditional heater.
They even went so far as to get city permission to put a public Electric Vehicle charging station – operated by the family and leveraging electricity generated by the house – on the street in front of their house (along with the charging station on their property)! You can see it in the picture just to the front right
For detailed information or to contact the owners please visit Project Green Home – http://www.projectgreenhome.org/