Seattle homeowner creates "net-zero-energy" house with radiant floor heating

Tue, 04/02/2013 - 08:03

In the pursuit of sustainability and decreasing operational costs, homeowners across the United States are aiming their construction efforts toward achieving "net-zero-energy" status. Net-zero-energy building certification is growing in popularity and many property owners and builders are pursuing the achievement. A net-zero energy building is a structure with no net energy consumption and no annual carbon emissions. 
All of this sounds great to the average American, however, the costs associated with building such a green structure often exceed the price of a "normal" house. But, do green properties have to cost so much more? One Seattle couple says no and they built a home to prove it. 
Earth Techling reports that the couple built a 1,915-square-foot home at $124 per square foot, or $114 after subtracting the state and federal energy tax credits for the solar photovoltaic panels. According to architect Ted L. Clifton, designing a home to fit the slightly lower standards created by Passive House and then installing more solar panels and eco-friendly technologies makes the project more affordable. 
The home features thinner walls labeled as R-26 and a roof accredited for R-42, according to the news source. The radiant floor heating system delivers sustainable, cost-effective heat throughout the home. Regardless of what source is powering the utility, radiant floor heating uses less energy to create heat that more traditional solutions like vents, base board heating or radiators. This helps reduce overall energy draw and allows photovoltaic solar panels to generate all the necessary heat to keep the home at a comfortable temperature all-year round. 
Residential properties across the United States are being designed for greater sustainability. Radiant floor heating allows a property owner to reduce his or her operational costs and limit the carbon footprint associated with the structure.