How would like to reduce your 1,100 sq. ft. home's energy costs to only $1 a day? Architect Jeff Christian is doing just this. His goal is to create homes so efficient that the energy bill lowers to zero energy costs. Right now the cost is $7 a day to provide energy for the average home.
Christian is creatively integrating current technologies to make new homes more energy efficient than ever before. In fact he can modify an existing home to reduce the energy costs by 25% and cut energy use in half.
He is using techniques such as having a single "utility wall" where the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room are laid out back to back. He's got most of the hot-water plumbing coming up between these rooms making the distance the hot water has to travel much shorter.
Underground air temperature is warmer in winter and cooler in summer. He's tapping that by having an efficient underground duct system that is much cheaper to create and install than the average system now being used. He's placing the system as he's building the foundation so it's already a part of the new home. He takes it even further: "To take advantage of the heat created by the heat pump units themselves, piping was circulated around the units to supply hot water."
For the new home's insulation he's using a variety of methods such as geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, structural insulated panels and triple-pane glass.
Naturally, he's using solar panels and interestingly "cool coated colors" on the metal roof that "that reflect infrared rays and reduce the need for air conditioning."
Yikes! Jeff! start wearing a flack jacket and helmet will you? The energy corporations are not going to like this!
Here's the article at The Hook.
You can read another interview with Mr. Christian at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.