READ THE BLOG ghost house on AIA tour
Named for its ghostly-white exterior, this 2,950 square foot house was designed for a retired couple wanting to downsize and reduce their maintenance and utility bills. The lot they selected is very dramatic and steep—one of the last remaining lots on the East face of Green Mountain in Lakewood CO. Given that the lot runs North-South, it was a challenge to optimize for solar gain in the winter months and provide enough PV to make the design net-zero energy. The dramatic views of downtown Denver to the East could not be ignored. Maintaining those views was crucial to the success of the project, but summer heat gain was a concern. Through the use of removable sun shades on the exterior of the structure, the home owners can control it to some extent.
The home is unconventionally heated with an electric boiler that runs off of a 9.8Kw PV array. Solar thermal panels provide all of the domestic hot water, and the entire house is designed so that it will produce more energy than it uses in any given calendar year. The trick of designing net-zero energy homes is quite simple—keep the square footage down and build a very energy efficient shell with an understanding of simple passive solar design.
passive solar design
concrete floors with in-floor radiant heat
structural insulated panel (SIP) construction
insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation
high efficiency boiler
heat recovery ventilation system
solar thermal system for domestic hot water
photovoltaic system (7kw)
HERS Rating of 29