Architect designs nearly net zero living home

Tue, 10/23/2012 - 21:25

For some Americans, living within a green structure is a dream come true and they may do anything possible to make that vision a reality. Eco Home magazine reports that architect Dominique Davison was charged with the task of designing a nearly zero-energy house in the Midwest of the United States - a region known for its relatively extreme weather conditions.

In addition to creating a small carbon footprint and using limited energy, the homeowners wished the house to feature plenty of natural light and ventilation.

"The clients wanted to get as close to net zero energy as possible but at same time create a bright, open space with a lot of light," Davison told the news source. "We were also trying to keep the footprint smaller while making the house feel bigger."

To make the homeowner’s dreams a reality, while still protecting them from the bitter cold winds of the Midwest, Davison incorporated multiple energy-efficient technologies into the property in Leawood, Kansas. The property features many R6 windows, a large solarium and radiant heating floors, as well as high ceilings and an open floor plan.

The radiant heating system is more energy efficient than traditional heating technologies such as forced air. In addition, by combining the solution with materials that soak in the heat, the house may remain warm despite the cold winds flowing outside.

"When it comes to radiant heat, traditional insulation materials act like a big sponge," heating expert Ryan Garrett told the Standard-Examiner. "They soak up and slow the radiant heat down, but as soon as the insulation is saturated, the heat comes pouring through into the living space."