Energy production in this house is provided in several ways. Passive solar heat gained and stored is just the start. A translucent tube-under-glass solar hot water heater is in the wall directly in front of the spiral staircase. In addition, the entire metal roof has tubing under it. Almost all of the exterior of the house will heat water which will be stored in a large insulated reservoir.
Then photovoltaic panels will generate electricity to be stored in batteries or to run the meter backwards. These panels are plug-and-play and more can easily be aded. Electricity will also be generated by a small wind turbine. These energy-producing features plus the energy conserving nature of the house will bring the cost of utilities from $400-$500 per month to almost nothing and have a pay-back period of about ten years.
Super insulated exterior walls and roof are formed with with solid poystyrene white foam. Metal studs are embedded 3/4” into foam which eliminates thermal bridging. There is no plywood in the entire house, saving wood and any possible mold or rot and eliminating formaldehyde. The R-value of 4 per inch makes the wall R-22 and the roof R-30. This is enhanced with Pro-dex foam foil wrap to R-36 and R-46. Air infiltration is tightly controlled with all doubled windows and doors. This not only doubles theR-value of the glass openings to R-8, but doubles the weather stripping. Then, exterior roll-down insulated metal garage doors triple the weather stripping and increase the R-value to 16. Once passive solar energy gets into this house in the heating season, it will be held tightly.
The exterior shutters can have DC openers which can be controlled manually or automatically by smart-home technologies. The aluminum and steel decks will supply maximum shading on the south to block unwanted solar heat in the summer and will fold up against the house when added protection is desired. The 3,000 gallons of water stored in the reservoirs and the radiant floor provides more than enough thermal mass to store energy and provide comfort for weeks.
In the cooling season, this large amount of south-facing glass makes the interior bright and open, saving lighting costs.
Fresh air will enter through a buried 12” pipe 40’ long that will be tempered geothermally. The house will be naturally vented through upper
windows enhanced by a fan on this geo-tube. The central vac will also double as an exhaust fan. Outgoing air will transfer thermal energy to the incoming air. In addition, a geo-thermally linked, ductless air conditioner will provide cooling and dehumidification when needed.