The Home Stretch!
We have been in our Net Zero home for a year now, and have learned a lot, both through the experience of designing the house and the time living in the house.
Our data tracking started on the 30th of September, 2016, so we have a month to go before we have a full year of data. I'll be posting another blog when the final numbers are in.
We also have the approval of much of the local wildlife;) We have had various visitors, and I have to say, I think the rabbits are the happiest and most well fed!
One of the really interesting things in our neighborhood is the number of black and albino squirrels. And they both love exploring all the nooks and crannies in our stack of boulders.
We have seen deer and turkey as well.
We also have completed a number of certifications, including GreenStar Gold and LEED Platinum!
Our Living Building Challenge is still in process. The last piece of that particular certification is a year's worth of data tracking. That will be complete in a month. So far, we are well ahead of our goal so I am very confident we will reach that.
More about what the LEED certification is can be found here.
Additional information about the GreenStar certification can be found here. Our home along with details and the GreenStar and LEED checklists can be found on their site here.
While we strived to reach LEED Platinum, we originally expected to reach LEED Gold. A lot of work was done by our team, and we were thrilled to get the news this summer that we had indeed reached Platinum :)
Our solar array continues to work flawlessly since the final fix last spring. We also have done some preparation work to get ready for three Tesla Powerwalls! If you ready some of our early posts, you may remember we wanted to have one or more in place last winter.
It looks as if we are getting those within a couple of months (we have a signed agreement with an installer).
This was long awaited, but will be worth it once we have them in place.
ProudGreenHome did a piece on our house and posted a video produced by Geocomfort (makers of our geothermal heat pumps). Click here to see it.
Greenhome institute also made a live video earlier this summer.
Each video includes many members of the team, including our architect, builder, HVAC wizard, interior designers, landscape designer and a representative from our solar installers.
Part 1 can be seen at https://youtu.be/NjSwoB8f8Ok
Part 2 is at https://youtu.be/94YlOp_SXZE
The envelope, please...
The first of our certifications has arrived!
Our Energy Star Home Report is now final. This is the one with the HERS rating, which is basically a measurement for homes similar to MPG is used for cars.
For a great summary of the HERS rating, check out this video:
You may ask, "what in the world is the negative value rating for, didn't you go overboard?".
Well, while I do often get carried away, in this case I didn't.
We wanted the house to produce all the electricity annually both our house and cars use. So we sized the solar array to provide enough power for the cars, and the HERS rating takes into account all of the solar panels, but not the electric power used to charge the cars.
Now that February is in the history books, here is an updated graph of how we are doing so far. If I do say so myself, it is looking very, very good!
February was extraordinarily sunny and warm. As such, we had our highest production month yet (measured back through October) and the heating system took much less energy than a typical February would.
More certificates should be complete soon!
I'll be attending a Net Zero open House in Minneapolis tomorrow (Friday, March 3rd from 3-8pm) at 2021 Harriet Avenue, Minneapolis.
Our architect, Marc Sloot, will be giving a short speech at 5pm.
Stop on by, if you are in the area, and see how they renovated a very old house to the Net Zero standard, it is pretty amazing:)
Near the end of January we started using more energy than we had produced since October 1st (when we started tracking). Thanks to a bright sunny start to February, we are back in the green!
Measure twice, cut once.
This week we tidied up the insulation.
Patrick, from Building Knowledge came out to give the house a checkup...
Mark really doesn't like to talk about himself, the house is much more interesting.