Net zero house— Charlotte,VT
- Location: Charlotte, VT
- Building type(s): Single-family residential
- New construction
- 2,970 ft2 (276 m2)
- Project scope: 2-story building
- Rural setting
- Completed August 2007
Rating: HERS --Level: 0
Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes v.1 --Level: Platinum
The project team sought to create a healthy home for a family of four to live in as independently and with as little environmental impact as possible, situated on a sustainable homestead producing energy and food. The owners did not want to build on prime agricultural land, but chose a rural site that had good solar and/or wind resources, with space for animals and gardens. With the intention to use only as much energy as could be produced onsite, a building strategy was developed that reduced the amount of energy needed to run the household and used an appropriate site-specific renewable energy solution. This has helped the occupants cultivate a strong sense of stewardship of the local environment and given them the tools to help others do the same.
The owners were committed to creating a home which would use no more energy than it could produce, consume no fossil fuel onsite, and produce no carbon emissions. This goal, which was challenging to meet in the harsh climate of northern Vermont, informed decisions throughout the project. The house incorporates passive solar design, a highly efficient building envelope, daylighting, a ground-source heat pump, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, and a properly sized renewable energy source. Using an integrated-design approach, involving the architect, energy consultant, structural engineer, and the builder, facilitated the coordination all of these strategies into an affordable, practical house that maintains a high standard of design and detail.
The house is large enough for a family of four—with the flexibility to accommodate future changes—and small enough to limit energy and material use. The first level has an open plan that allows sun and daylight to reach all of the spaces. In addition to the three bedrooms on the second level there is one flexible room for a home office and/or bedroom, which can be divided with a sliding partition.
Owner & Occupancy
- Owned and occupied by David Pill, Individual(s)
- Typically occupied by 4 people
Living quarters (100%)
Integrated team, Green framework, Green specifications, Commissioning, Performance measurement and verification, Open space preservation, Indigenous vegetation, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Efficient irrigation, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, Passive solar, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Adaptable design, Durability, Salvaged materials, Local materials, Certified wood, C&D waste management, Occupant recycling, Connection to outdoors, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness, Moisture control, Thermal comfort, Noise control, Low-emitting materials
Case Studies Database provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's
Building Technology Program, High Performance Buildings.
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