|Green Builder - Issue 1, January/February 2020 - www.greenbuildermedia.com|
WHEN TED L. CLIFTON was asked to design a net zero home for clients in very Northwestern Washington, he already knew the goals he had to meet. This wasn’t his first such dwelling; it wasn’t even his first in the tight-knit city of Anacortes, population 18,000-plus.
After all, being net zero really means being exceptionally efficient with a home’s components. In this case, the goal was triple zero, as in zero energy, zero water and zero carbon emissions. Again, not impossible if done right, he notes.
But this dynamic living quarters—dubbed “The Anacortes Triple Zero Home”—gave Clifton, founder and chief designer at Zero-Energy Home Plans, LLC, and his builder partner, David Wallace of CVH Inc./Clifton View Homes, a few things to think about. There wasn’t much property to work with, and owners wanted a premium view of Lake Erie, one of Skagit County’s lowland lakes.
“We needed to build on a very tiny, narrow lot, while staying at least 100 feet back from Lake Erie, and not taking up the same space as the already-in-place on-site septic system,” Clifton notes. ‘[Ultimately] we were able to build a three-bedroom, three-bath luxury home into less than 1,900 square feet of conditioned living space, while minimizing exterior surface area with a rounded shape.”
GREEN DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS
Clifton View Homes notes that SIPs are manufactured under factory controlled conditions and can be fabricated to fit nearly any building design. The result is a building system that is extremely strong, energy e cient and cost eıective. Building with SIPs can actually save time and money because the components come ready to install and don’t require extra labor for each component, the company states. The large panel sizes also contribute to a very tight building envelope.
“The use of SIPs allowed us to go places with the design that would not have been possible using conventional framing methods,” Clifton says.
NATURAL LIGHTING AND MORE
SECONDARY LIVING IMPROVEMENTS
In the basement, there is 20,000 gallons of fresh water storage, along with a rainwater treatment system.The basement also houses the storage tanks and pumps for the hydronic air-to-water heating system, providing heat and hot water to the home at an efficiency of 392 percent.
And in the garage, two 240V, 40Acharge ports provide enough energy with only the first two-thirds of the photovoltaic system installed to power an electric car for about 6,000 miles per year.With the other one-third of the solar array installed, the home would power itself and two electric cars for more than 30,000 miles per year.It’s a key point for anyone who wants a truly sustainable home, Clifton stresses. “In our opinion, you are not zero until your house and your car are zero,” he says.
Overall, Anacortes Triple Zero Home showcases Zero Energy Home Plan’s philosophy. “We get a kick from hearing customers stories about no energy costs,” the company notes. “We hear how some homes have excess solar production and are ‘fueling’ their electric cars; they tell us how they love the floorplan, and the way the house ‘lives.’ This helps insure that we are providing real value in our home designs.”
IF ONE GREEN HOME is good, multiple green structures must be great. That’s the crux of the housing at 430 Forest Avenue—a.k.a. “The Palo Alto Apartments”—a series of net zero residences in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, Calif. All 13 dwellings; a penthouse, two townhouses and 10 apartments, were designed to provide a positive impact on residence health while promoting renewable, clean energy, according to project developers.
GREEN ON THE INSIDE
The Palo Alto Apartments’ green status starts with its six-inch SIPs, which Shell Building Systems President Greg Koepf says are “the foundation for the project’s e•ciency and structural integrity.” From there, there is a micro-zoning high efficiency HVAC system with heat pump, all-LED high-efficiency lighting when needed—the natural day variety is emphasized as much as possible—high-efficiency glazed windows, and video monitoring in common areas throughout the all-electric home.
One for All