zero energy home

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new residential

Located on San Juan Island, WA this Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) is the first on the island to be certified by the US Department of Energy as having a net zero carbon footprint.

Dubbed ‘La Pedrera’ (The Quarry), the new residence sits atop a rocky bank overlooking Fish Creek and Griffin Bay. The 1,632 square foot/2-bedroom structure was designed utilizing the latest technology for the building envelope, air-sealing, heat-recovery ventilation and sustainable materials. A new 8.6 kW photovoltaic array will ensure that the home always produces more energy than it consumes.

Oriented south-southwest, large windows in the Living and Master Bedroom areas capture the view of the water and Mount Finlayson, across Fish Creek. Their enhanced U-value (0.23) far exceeds the code-required value of 0.30.

A system of interior and exterior insulation produces walls of R-31.6 and roof/ceilings of R-66 insulation values, while a ductless mini-split heat pump system and a heat recovery ventilation unit ensure the highest efficiency for the heating/cooling of the home. In addition, a heat pump clothes dryer, Energy Star appliances and LED lighting fixtures further lower the energy loads of the home. The result is a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of 0 and an ACH (Air Changes per Hour) score of 0.97, far below the typical HERS score of 100 and ACH score of 5.0 in new homes.

On the exterior, materials were chosen for their durability, high recycled/recyclable content and resistance to fire. A standing seam metal roof, cement-fiber lap siding and finger-jointed wood trim make up the skin of the building. Sustainably-grown garapa boards complete the deck on the water side.

Landscaping will focus on restoring the natural grasses that are prevalent in the island’s south environment. Perennial plants will include only edible, drought-tolerant and deer-resistant varieties, minimizing water usage and maintenance.

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