Project Green Home is a low impact home being designed and built by the Thesen family in Palo Alto, California. Click the pictures above to learn more about the project!
The aim is for the house to be “Zero-Net Energy” – to produce as much energy as it consumes. The energy produced would not only balance electricity and gas consumption directly for the home, but also the hidden energy costs of water usage.
The project is a partnership between the Thesen family, Arkin Tilt Architects, and graduate students both at Stanford and Berkeley.
Start with a 7,500ft2 lot in Palo Alto with a very small termite ridden house constructed in approximately 1918. Raze the house (simultaneously recovering all the useable materials) and build a house that meets the as yet to be specified California Energy Commission (CEC) zero-net energy standard.
It is envisioned to be somewhat similar to Duke’s Smart Home program, see
http://www.smarthome.duke.edu/index.php, except that this would house my wife and me, our two children, our Au Pair, and potentially my wife’s mother and even a tenant (student researcher).
Concepts we are examining include ensuring that the first floor is handicap accessible (wide doors, no steps/stairs, etc) a grey water recovery system for both black water and irrigation supply, thermal solar for both hot water and home heating, photovoltaics, LED lighting, R4 or greater windows, etc.
We would also welcome other contact suggestions.
The house is scheduled for construction in late 2009, but the research, specifications, and issues to consider are being developed currently. Please check back for updates frequently.
This Website has Three Specific Goals:
1. We want to document our process for building a zero-net energy home. California law states that by 2020, all new homes built should qualify as “zero-net energy” — yet there is no set process for how to get there. Our team has even engaged in long discussions regarding what “zero-net energy” really means: are we simply offsetting our electricity consumption? Our electricity + gas consumption? Or is our goal to offset all the energy it takes to produce our electricity, move our water, provide our gas, and even build our house?
As our team begins the process of answering these questions, performing calculations, gathering materials and identifying assignments that need to be completed, we want to publish them as the trappings of a “recipe” for building one of these homes. While each construction project is different, we hope to provide a jumping-off point to would-be ecological builders.
2. We want to publicize our accomplishments. We hope to provide a positive example and encourage others to embark on the journey to more ecological homes and lifestyles.
3. We want your insight! Building a net zero-energy home is a long process and technology is evolving extremely quickly. Know of any new products or strategies for reducing energy consumption? New deals or grants available for increasing the economic efficiency of energy production? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to provide a public example that a Zero-Net Energy home is possible on a reasonable budget. Adoption of green lifestyles
Also, check out some similar projects, other LEED certified homes, Passive Houses, and Zero-Net Energy dwellings that have common goals:
Duke University has a smart home that houses students:
Bright Barn is another low impact house in Rockport, Maine that brilliantly deals with the challenges of constructing a green building in a cold climate:
100k House is a work in progress by a team of designers who are attempting to build a green home in Philadelphia for only $100,000
Earthbag buildings – the most “alternative” form of construction you will ever see!
CalEarth also makes some homes that push the envelope of green home creation.
Great ideas from Marin County’s first LEED-H Platinum certified home: