Nissan Leaf
2012 Tour of Solar Homes
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Homes on the 2014 Tour

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4

Home 1
North Gate Vineyards tasting room and production facility has been awarded LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.  Our 96 panel solar array is one of the largest installations in Loudoun County, and enables us to be net zero in power consumption over the course of the year. Besides the energy efficient features, we have used recycled, reclaimed or local products whenever possible.  Our tasting room is designed around our recycled glass top bar, faced with reclaimed barn wood and surrounded by bamboo flooring.  All coatings and adhesives were low VOC.  A special CO2 monitoring system helps to guarantee peek indoor air quality at all times.  During the construction phase, all waste was sent to a sorting facility, where over 85% of our construction waste was recycled or reused and diverted from land fill.  Our daily operations include using recycled paper products, eliminating the need for paper towels in the restrooms, eliminating the use of disposable plates and cups, and single stream recycling of all glass/plastic.

Home 2
The pole-mounted PV array uses both net-metering and battery backup.  The homeowner designed the solar thermal system so that all the domestic hot water and heating (baseboard radiators) is supplied by solar using a multi energy tank.  The excess heat generated by the system during the non heating season is pumped back in to the pool extending the period that the outdoor pool can be used. The naturally finishid wood floors are repurposed from a barn, and the owners enjoy driving their Nissan Leaf electric vehicle.

Home 3
This brick-front colonial style house was built around 1993. In May 2013 the homeowner had a 10 kW grid-tied PV system (LG Mono-X panels and Enphase inverters) installed.The home is in an HOA-controlled community that is solar friendly. Locating the panels on the back of the roof also made approval easier.

Home 4
Grace, beauty, and ecological integrity.  These are the principles embodied in the Earth Ministry Simple Gifts project at Dayspring.  This project explores ways of living more simply, justly and in harmony with the earth.  There are 2 small staff cottages and a solar strawbale greenhouse.  Each cottage is 1250 square feet and is designed to provide a well-crafted and energy-efficient home for a couple or small family.  The cottages accomplished this in different ways including passive solar heating and cooling, well-insulated walls and roof (structural insulated panels (SIP)/blown cellulose), top energy-efficient windows and appliances, insulating window shades, living roof, FSC-certified framing lumber, geothermal/radiant heating and cooling, grid-tied and grid-independent photovoltaic panels, (sufficient so that we use no net energy from the grid), solar hot water, masonry heater, oak and cherry trim from trees on the land, earth plaster and milk paint wall finishes, stained concrete slab floors, bamboo and linoleum floors, fiber-cement composite siding and trim, roof water collection, and landscaping with native plants.

Home 5
Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle installation.  Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles are made in the USA by Dow and are a building integrated PV system.  Powerhouse solar shingles are not on the roof, they are the roof!

Home 6
We have taken our ordinary townhome and over the past 5 years we have done nearly every energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrade we could.  The home features a 3.15 kW Suntech solar electricity system installed by Standard Solar and a 2 panel Schuco solar thermal hot water system.  The PV system was installed in 2009.  Our home also has new energy star appliances. (dishwasher, fridge, and washing machine) We installed a new high efficiency 16 SEER air conditioner, and a 95% efficient gas furnace in 2010.  In 2011 we had Standard Energy Solutions perform an energy audit, which identified $1500 worth of recommended energy retrofits, also completed by SES.  We use CFL and LED lights throughtout the house. In 2013 we purchased a Ford Focus Electric and installed a level 2 charging station in the garage.

Home 7
This 1950s ranch house has solar PV, solar hot water, a cupola/solar chimney, solar daylight tubes, solar attic fan, solar sidewalk lights, south facing energy efficient windows, 2 highly efficient energy star minisplit heat pumps (26-SEER), a fireplace insert wood stove, exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS), CFL/LED lighting, kitchen counter tops made from recycled glass, and recycled floor tiles in the foyer and basement. The yard has 2 rain gardens, the start of a food forest, 2 rain barrels, and 2 compost piles. There is also an aquaponics system in the basement.

Home 8
Some green features of our house include a 4,000 watt PV solar panel array, solar hot water panels, rain barrels and a 3-compartment compost bin. Additionally we installed a 2,700 sq ft vegetable and flower garden with a greenhouse.

Home 9
Our 4 bedroom 2 bath Cape Cod is small enough to make it possible to generate over 100% of our electricity needs, even with our Think City electric car, using 40 185 watt Andalay solar panels (7.4 kW).  The homeowners have radiant floor heating, use CFL or LED lights throughtout, and they have an Energy-Star washer and dryer. The original owner had blown in insulation added to the walls and attic. While it made the house warmer in the winter the insulation impeded the flow of air in the summer from the kneewall area to the vents at the peak ot the roof. After removing the shingles from the original roof 2x2s were attached and a second plywood layer was added. This allowed airflow from the vented soffets to the ridge vent. The attic stays much cooler in the summer now. The vinyl siding was installed over 1.5 inches of foil backed blueboard insulation significantly increasinging the overall R value of the exterior walls.

Home 10
This Shady Side home built in 1993 is an ongoing experiment in living lightly or sustainably on the earth. The main features of the house are lots of insulation, low emissivity windows, a wood pellet stove, a solar cooker, nesting osprey, passive solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic power, a wood cooking stove and lots of fans instead of ducts to circulate heat. The treed living room, located on the waterside of the house, is a passive heated solar sunspace that is used as a heat source for the rest of the house. More important than these parts is the way these parts are integrated into a whole, the management practices which make it all work to create significant energy savings and the lessons learned which were carried on to my work on Passive House and Net Zero Energy designs.

Home 11
This home, completed in 2011, is off-grid with a 10 kW photovoltaic system. Heating is by a bank of 9 flat plate panel solar thermal collectors and radiant floor system.  On cloudy days, this is supplemented by a two-ton geothermal heat pump, and in the worst weather, a Navien tankless water heater, all through automated optimizing controls. Cooling is accomplished through a unique geothermal in-floor radiant cooling system aided by 2 air handlers.  The home is of timber frame and SIP panel construction with R-44 walls, passive solar engineering, an insulated precast foundation, and Serious/Alpen quad pane windows.  While the home is off-the-grid, it has all of the comforts of a typical home with washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc.  A plug-in electric hybrid vehicle charging station was installed in 2012-- available to visitors on sunny days.

Home 12
Original 1920s gable frame house was gutted and retrofit with strawbales.  A timberframe addition was added to one end of the house and infilled with strawbales for insulation.  A small loadbearing strawbale guesthouse was built by Builders Without Borders using lime and earth plasters and as featured outside the Capital building for almost a year.  A small studio using a modified infill system was built and finished in local clay plasters.  A variety of strawbale and plastering techniques were used in the structures from low to high-end.  Boards, timbers and posts were obtained locally and milled using our sawmill or chainsaw.  Lots of experiments in local reused materials, and timbers, trees, and found objects.  Key themes are local natural materials, do it your self, low cost, and non-manufactured.

Home 13
Originally, an 1800 sq ft home that utilized passive solar strategies,minimal footprint and recycled materials, the house received a timberframe addition 6 years ago. The addition added an 800 sq ft. shop with a new living room above, both under a planted green roof, a study tower with a  garden shed underneath  and greenhouse on top, added space to the upstairs bathroom and an airlock entryway. The addition applies passive solar/day lighting strategies and recycled materials much as the original home. Siting of the home north of many deciduous trees, an elongated east/west axis,  ample glazing facing due south and minimal glazing on the north and west elevations contribute to it ís passive solar abilities. The green roof, minimal footprint, low-impact, low maintenance landscaping (minimal lawn), and a semi-pervious bluestone driveway all reduce the impact of this construction on the local ecosystem.  An ultra-low-flush toilet was added this year to replace one of the existing low-flush toilets. The owners routinely compost and recycle materials. One owner works at home and the other within walking distance to the nearest metro station ( <2 miles.)

Home 14
Designed and constructed to meet the Passive House standard, this home's super air tight shell 0.455 ach50 and super insulated with cellulose walls (R-40) and ceilings (R-90) and EPS foam below grade (R-40) uses so little energy that it is heated and cooled with a small heat pump which is designed to heat and cool one room in a standard house but heats and cools all of this home's 3400 sf. The home's focus is a passive solar 2 story dining room. Extremely modern in construction but with a classic character, the space's natural lighting is superb. Due to the airtightness of the shell a snorkel has been provided for fresh air which includes an always on ERV with a tempering ground loop. Windows are triple glazed multipoint locking, and shading has been designed to take advantage of solar gain in the cool seasons and to exclude it when hot. The hot water is provided by heat pump and lights are all LED.

Home 15
60 year old brick colonial, approx 3,000 sq feet,  22 roof-mounted PV Panels (4.2 kW) and 2 foof-mounted glycol solar water panels;  12-PV panel 2.9kW solar ground-mounted system; net-metering, spray-foam insulation in attic; ground-mounted PV system is our 'back-yard gas station' for Volt (30,000 miles on 8 gallons of gas!). Pella Low-E Insulshield windows; six years of solid solar-savings.

Home 16
This home features a 2.7 kW, grid-tied, net-metered PV system and a 160 gal solar hot water system.  The owners plant a composted organic garden, have over 25 trees and bushes on the property, and water the plants using rain barrels.  The zoned 17 SEER Carrier Infinity HVAC system is controlled with programmable thermostats.  Other features include Toto low-flush toilets and Anderson low-e window replacements.  This home was featured in a Washington Post Real Estate cover story in May 2006.

Home 17
Two solar panels serve to trickle charge a bank of batteries in the garage for emergency power availability.   The backup is instantaneous and supplemented with a 6.5 kW natural-gas generator (converted by homeowner from gasoline).  There is a 1600-gallon water tank that receives water from the roof; the water is used for lawn and garden purposes and relies on a pump for pressure.  The lawnmower is charged from the solar panel system.

Home 18
The homeowner has a 1600-watt grid-tied photovoltaic system (that is producing more electricity than is used), a solar air heater with solar-powered fan, two mini-split ductless heat pumps/air conditioners, a direct vent gas heater, a solar-powered attic fan, a solar light tube, 100% fluorescent or LED lights, cellulose insulation, a solar clothes dryer, no garbage disposal, a gas stove with no glow bar, and an organic fruit and vegetable garden with rainwater harvesting.

Home 19
The house is a 1926 Sears and Roebuck bungalow with a second story addition designed by the Owner/Architect. Grid tied solar panels are located on the high roof. A stand-alone system powers the porch using PV panels, a pair of deep-cycle batteries, and a controller. This off-grid arrangement furnishes light for the porch, refrigeration for cold drinks  and power to pump water from a 300 gallon rainwater harvest cistern.

Home 20
Franklin's Restaurant will have a portion of its hot water supplied by a solar thermal system comprised of eight roof top solar collectors measuring approximately 320 sq. ft., a 200 gallon hot water storage tank, heat exchangers, controls and plumbing connecting the collectors to the existing hot water tank and gas-fired boiler located in the basement. The Franklin's Restaurant solar thermal installation is the first community financed solar thermal project in the State.  Community Solar Thermal LLC was established in early 2014 with 30 local residents investing small amounts of capital to pay for the system that was installed during the summer.  The solar hot water project is expected to return their investment with a small amount of interest over the next decade.  The system will preheat water used by the restaurant and will offset a portion of the natural gas that powers the restaurant's boiler.   Franklin's will also save on its gas utilities over time.

Home 21
Big enough to be a commercial system this photovoltaic installation is a new alternative to residential solar for families who have poor solar access or may not have the financial means to place a solar system on their roof.  35 community investors (UPCS LLC) raised $133,000.00 to install 22 kW of  solar panels on a church roof in 2010.  The church buys solar electricity from the LLC at a rate below the PEPCO rate.  The panels are producing about 25% more electricity than is comsumed by the church and the excess is redirected to the grid. Through the MD net metering law, the LLC will be paid by PEPCO for the surplus electricity.  The LLC expects to receive about an 8% profit on its investment over 20 years.

Home 22
The school has a new 65 kW PV roof top system that provides all of the electrical needs of the town of University Park.  The town and the Prince George's County School System share the utility savings.The State of Maryland now allows municipalities, farms, and non-profits to aggregate solar power generation and electrical demand at multiple locations by a property owner in each of the aforementioned categories.  University Park has six separated meters at various locations including its town hall and public works vehicle repair shop that receives grid-supplied power indirectly from the roof top solar system on the elementary school. This is the first example of utility aggregation in Maryland.

Home 23
We are building an urban homestead, meeting most of our energy needs from local solar power.  We generate 100% of our electricity using our 4.4 kW solar panels, and by using energy efficient lighting and appliances.  We heat our house 100% with our high efficiency Vermont Castings catalytic wood stove with salvaged local wood.  With nearly 450 gallons of rainwater catchment capacity in 3 rain barrels, we are able to keep our water usage low.  We eat fresh produce from our property nearly 12 months a year, harvesting fruit from our persimmon, plum, cherry, pear and fig trees, blueberry bushes, hardy kiwi and raspberry, concord grapes, as well as our organic vegetable garden.  Most of Takoma Park is too shady for food production, but we enjoy an abundance of sunshine and take full advantage of it.

Home 24
We have thirty-two 240 watt Kyocera solar panels across two rooflines and two Solar Edge inverters which produce approximately 8,500 kWh annually.

Home 25
The owners have a 33 panel photovoltaic array, and dual geothermal heat pumps. The home also has an array of solar windows in the great room, (totaling almost 12 feet high and 30 feet across), with stone (slate) floors for thermal mass to radiate heat back into the home once the sun sets,  and an energy-saving metal roof.  All appliances are low energy, CFL lighting where possible.  Porous driveway minimizes runoff. Window quilts over the solar windows prevent heat loss in winter at night, shades great room.  This home is custom designed by Ruhsam Building and Design and was completed in May 2012.  It has stonework inside and out for added thermal mass.  The great room stone floor remains warm overnight.  The PV system generates more power than is used some months. An LP gas generator provides power during outages. Dual geothermal systems mitigates weather temperature extremes, lowers heating and cooling costs and provides hot water to the residence.

Home 26
Owner designed and built. Passive solar geothermal. earth-sheltered, shaped like a truncated isosceles triangle. 445 sq ft south glazing with movable insulation. 12 in thick concrete walls extend 6 ft below floor. Thermal mass consists of 684,000 lbs of concrete, 536,000 lbs of rock, 200,000 lbs of earth (722 tons of thermal mass total), and 24,500 lbs rebar from recycled automobiles. Wood stoves provide backup heat. Summer cooling by passive thermal conduction to earth and dehumidification by conventional window air conditioner. Rock bin is outside of the house and under the berm providing 2,000 sq ft contact area with adjoining earth. R 35 walls, R 38 + R 50 ceiling insulation. Low pollution design by selection of building materials and by low pollution heating and cooling. 4 to 6 ft of earth buffer weather conditions 4 to 6 months out of phase. Air wells are used to harvest early fall ambient heat and early spring ambient coolness by pumping air into rock bin. Extensive use of glass, wood, rock, and metal. Low plastic, low formaldehyde house. Economics of putting earth over the roof for insulation did not make sense, so the house earth sheltering is done without earth over the roof. 100% battery electric car. Solar hot water heating is via evacuated tubes. No surface water discharge from site.

Home 27
Our roof's 5.8 kW PV was installed in April 2012 and provides about two-thirds of the electricity for the house. And on some days, producing more than we use. Home features energy saving washing machine, CFL lighting and super insulation in the attic. Other alt fuel features include a Prius, a 144 volt electric Ford Escort, electric powered dragster and a GE Elec-Trak garden tractor.

Home 28
Owner has driven electric vehicles since 1999.  A south facing roof is almost completely covered with a 6.4 kW solar system installed by Astrum Solar with Microinverters. Owner also doubled home supply dropline to 400 amp, and had a generator switchover  panel installed. USA Insulation has injected the walls with expanding foam insulation, then returned the following year to blow in 28 inches of insulation in the attic- which made a far larger improvement than the wall insulation provided.  During blackouts the solar panels cannot power the home without a generator providing at least some of the power.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5

Home A
This 1,900 SF loft style interior townhouse has two bedrooms and three baths and is located in an Active Adult community built around 2001.  It has been updated with Comfortrack cellular blinds with Side Tracks to reduce window air infiltration; R-55 attic insulation; and two SolaTubes for natural light.  The attic access hatch has an Energy Shield door tent with zipper access.  Attic knee walls have been weatherized by installing blue board on the attic side and sealing around all edges.  A jumper duct has been installed to improve cross ventilation of the upstairs bedroom.  In 2013, the HVAC system - furnace and A/C - was replaced with a 16 SEER A/C and 70,000 BTU furnace.  A 2.5 kWh solar PV system was installed in 2010.  The south facing back of the home has been landscaped to reduce summer heat gain, and the sunroom, constructed in 2009, has a wide overhang on the south side for the same purpose.  Energy Star appliances and LED lights in most fixtures.  Monthly utility bills for water, gas and electric have averaged less than $125 since 2010.

Home B
This Shady Side home built in 1993 is an ongoing experiment in living lightly or sustainably on the earth. The main features of the house are lots of insulation, low emissivity windows, a wood pellet stove, a solar cooker, nesting osprey, passive solar heating and cooling, photovoltaic power, a wood cooking stove and lots of fans instead of ducts to circulate heat. The treed living room, located on the waterside of the house, is a passive heated solar sunspace that is used as a heat source for the rest of the house. More important than these parts is the way these parts are integrated into a whole, the management practices which make it all work to create significant energy savings and the lessons learned which were carried on to my work on Passive House and Net Zero Energy designs. For more information go to Sansone Solar House on solarvillages.org.

Home C
Our 4 bedroom 2 bath Cape Cod is small enough to make it possible to generate over 100% of our electricity needs, even with our Think City electric car, using 40 185 watt Andalay solar panels (7.4 kW).  The homeowners have radiant floor heating, use CFL or LED lights throughtout, and they have an Energy-Star washer and dryer. The original owner had blown in insulation added to the walls and attic. While it made the house warmer in the winter the insulation impeded the flow of air in the summer from the kneewall area to the vents at the peak ot the roof. After removing the shingles from the original roof 2x2s were attached and a second plywood layer was added. This allowed airflow from the vented soffets to the ridge vent. The attic stays much cooler in the summer now. The vinyl siding was installed over 1.5 inches of foil backed blueboard insulation significantly increasinging the overall R value of the exterior walls.

Home D
Some green features of our house include a 4,000 watt PV solar panel array, solar hot water panels, rain barrels and a 3-compartment compost bin. Additionally we installed a 2,700 sq ft vegetable and flower garden with a greenhouse.

Home E
Now in our ninth year after going solar, we have a pretty good feel for how things work. Before adding 4 kW of ground-mounted solar and making various efficiency improvements the electricity usage in our small home was about 1000 kwh per month. Now it is about 300 kwh per month averaged over the year, which works out to a monthly bill of approximately $40. Even this small cost is more than offset by the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) that we sell! Solar is fun and easy; solar is (gasp) even cheap! The price of panels today is only about 1/3 of the cost when we started our system. And the Feds are actually giving a 30% tax credit (till 2016) to help pay for YOUR solar system. If you have a good place to put some solar panels, what are you waiting for?

Home F
Solar water heating panels on a shed; the hot water is piped underground into the home. A timer withholds power to the electric water heater during night. The geothermal heat pump is much cheaper to operate than the previous propane system. Home automation turns off lights in idle rooms and outdoors. The solar PV arrays provide the energy needed for commuting in the electric cars. Edible landscaping includes figs, blueberries, peaches, apples, pears, elderberries and walnuts.

Home G
North Gate Vineyards tasting room and production facility has been awarded LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.  Our 96 panel solar array is one of the largest installations in Loudoun County, and enables us to be net zero in power consumption over the course of the year. Besides the energy efficient features, we have used recycled, reclaimed or local products whenever possible.  Our tasting room is designed around our recycled glass top bar, faced with reclaimed barn wood and surrounded by bamboo flooring.  All coatings and adhesives were low VOC.  A special CO2 monitoring system helps to guarantee peek indoor air quality at all times.  During the construction phase, all waste was sent to a sorting facility, where over 85% of our construction waste was recycled or reused and diverted from land fill.  Our daily operations include using recycled paper products, eliminating the need for paper towels in the restrooms, eliminating the use of disposable plates and cups, and single stream recycling of all glass/plastic.

Home H
Providing an atmosphere like no other, Sunset Hills Vineyard shares spectacular mountain and sunset views, pastoral old-world style farm grounds and a stunning Amish restored historic barn.  We are dedicated to making fine wines and doing it in a way that is gentle on the land. That's why we're using Virginia sunshine twice, first to ripen 60 acres of Virginia grapes and again with our 154 solar panels to produce enough electricity to power our winery and winemaking operations.

Home I
Built in 2000, this single family home has been upgraded over the past 6 years, starting with an energy audit, and includes the following: attic insulation upgraded to DoE recommended R49, recessed light sealing, along with high efficiency AC upgrade.  Lighting upgraded to 95% LED.  2200+ sq ft of strand bamboo flooring.  Energy Star appliance replacements installed as needed and automatic lighting controls help ensure lights are off when not in use.  Recently finished basement multi-purpose room & bath showcases energy & water efficient fixtures with sustainably sourced materials throughout.  In 2013, a 12.5kW grid-tied 52 panel solar array, handling 98% of the household & EV needs was added via a low cost lease arrangement.  A Nissan LEAF Electric Car and a Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Car complete the picture.  Extensive data collection on the solar array energy production and electric car usage is available for review.

Home J
Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingle installation.  Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles are made in the USA by Dow and are a building integrated PV system.  Powerhouse solar shingles are not on the roof, they are the roof!

Home K
The homeowner'sutility bills have plummeted since they upgraded this 50 year old house with solar panels on the roof, extensive insulation and sealing (particularly in the attics), and a ground source heat pump to replace the furnace and air conditioner installed by Harvey Hottel. Now PEPCO pays them for the surplus electicity they generate, and they receive regular checks for SREC production (totaling $892 in 2013). They have also submitted an application for certification as a generator of geothermal renewable energy credits in order to start receiving payments for GREC generation. If you might be interested in these kinds of improvements, pay attention to the imminent expiration of the 30% federal tax credit.

Home L
The owners signed up for solar panels in April 2012, and they were installed in August 2012 and functioning in December 2012. The panels are leased from Solar City, and the homeowner pays a monthly rent/electricity bill.  The panels are grid-tied and net metered. In May 2013 when the panels produced more than the homowners used, they received a $14.35 refund from Pepco. In the heavier-use months of July, August, September and October 2013 their Pepco bill was $7

Home M
There are 25 solar panels in total. The majority are not visible from the front as they are on the back roof. There are two rain barrels in the back and the house features a High efficiency gas furnace and low wattage lighting. There are also two natural gas space heaters in the home rated at 99% efficiency.The homeowners also drive a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid that delivers an average of 38 MPG.

Home N
The home, built in 1951, is a 2500 sqft two story rambler that has been upgraded to be energy efficient and to produce its own energy. This took place over a 25 year period. Most of the lawns have been replaced with gardens and planting beds.

Home O
This home is highly energy, cost and resource efficient (both the building and living in), as well as nurturing and healthful. Come see the simplicity, beauty and pleasure of natural building as well as many green/sustainable technologies, including straw bale, living roofs, biodiesel-fueled radiant floor heat (and a hand pump to fill our diesel cars!),  and a corn stove. Also, many parts of this home are from salvaged sources, creatively adapted. And as site work is as important as the building, there is an extensive storm water management plan, gracefully integrated into a beautiful garden (includes a retention pond, overflowing into a bog, with a rain garden around the corner, ending with pervious pavers on our driveway).

Home P
13 Sanyo HIT Power 215A panels (2.795 kW total) with Enphase microinverters and battery backup system were installed by Standard Solar in January and October 2011.  The panels generate 2.8 MWh/year, covering 95% of electricity consumption with grid-tied net metering.  The backup system feeds critical loads during grid outages.  By improving energy efficiency, annual electricity consumption was reduced from 6 MWh in 2010 to 3 MWh now.  Closed-cell foam insulation, injected into exterior walls by USAinsulation.net, and thermal curtains reduce AC usage for cooling (only 15 day in 2013) and natural gas for heating.  All lights are fluorescent; electronic devices are on switched power strips; appliances are selected for highest efficiency rating at EnergyStar.gov.  The new kitchen fridge (GE) consumes 1/2 of the old one.  Summer humidity in a large basement is controlled by the super-efficient dehumidifier Santa Fe Impact XT (260 kWh total consumption in 2013).  Roof and attic overheating in summer is reduced by Solaris reflective shingles, reflective foil in the attic, ridge vent, and solar fan to maintain air circulation.  Showerheads are low-flow, and Cimarron toilets are highly efficient.  We use Kill-a-Watt electricity meter, humidity and temperature meters, and Black-and-Decker thermal leak detector. 

Home Q
The owners have two sets of solar panels. The lower roof has 12 panels on a single inverter for a 3.2 kW system, the upper roof has 8 panels on enphase microinverters for 2.1 kW. All lighting is LED or CFL, they have two window quilts, three rain barrels and 12 raised beds  and a large community compost pit. They have a Nissan Leaf which charges at the garage. They have cherry trees and bluberry and blackberry bushes.

Home R
Located a short walk from the Capitolio Heights metro, this home has solar panels, a rain hog, a rain barrel, bayscaping, and a vegetable garden that the owner expects to use year round.

Home S
I have been greening my home for several years and will be net zero for electricity with off-the-grid operation or potential in time for the tour.  Electrical pollution is growing rapidly and I will also have reduced it from indoor and outside sources by at least 80 percent from 2013 levels.  Other features -- novel uses of pilot lights to recover energy, Tempcast masonry stove, SunDanzer refrigerator and freezer, inflector panels on some windows and 2 skylights, a manual grey water recovery system for dish washing,one window quilt, mini-split AC in 3 rooms, passive ventilation with venting skylights.

Home T
The Cohen/Gala Family have utilized their expertise in green building practices in their own home, using all environmentally friendly building materials and energy efficient lighting and appliances.  Their latest green endeavor was a 12 kW PV installation and cool roof on their home.  At the time, the installation was the largest in DC and received local and national recognition.  The family also recently completed an eco-renovation and addition to their single family urban dwelling that was featured on the Discovery Channel's Renovation Nation television show.  Their yard features an organic garden, rain barrel, compost, and has been certified as an NWF sustainable backyard habitat.  To help Washingtonians live green, urban lifestyles, Ms. Cohen has a Facebook Page (livinggreenindc) to provide green tips and highlight local events and products.

Home U
Turn of the century Victorian home relies almost entirely on solar for electricity, cooling, and hot water, and renewable fuel (wood pellets and corn) for heating. LED lights help keep lighting costs down - this big old house has over a hundred lights! Native trees and solar reflective window film provide additional cooling in summer. Edible landscaping and a honey beehive produce food. Rain barrels irrigate a rainscaped yard. A green roof is planned for the garage.

Home V
The rowhouse was built in approximately 1890 and is12 ft wide with two floors over a crawl space, for a total of 870 sf of habitable space. When initially purchased, one-half of the first floor was uninhabitable due to water and termite damage. It has undergone a complete green renovation, including the creation of a new stair and light-monitor/solar chimney with 2.16kW roof-top photovoltaic panels.  All the HVAC systems have been replaced with high efficiency units. The windows have been replaced with double-hung windows as required due to a historic street designation.  Interior improvements include a new full bath, new kitchen, study, dining and living room with a direct-vent gas fireplace.  Sustainable materials include:  bamboo and cork floors, low voc paints, recycled glass tiles, and paperstone counter top. Back yard improvements include:  rainwater collection system, composting, vegetable garden and patio space with permeable paving. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry– Metro DC Chapter selected the project for the 2008 Grand Award for Full House Green Remodel.

Home W
The solar electricity solution was designed and installed by Astrum Solar. The project was funded as a 20 year lease, with a single upfront payment and upfront pass through of various tax incentives and energy credits to the home owner. System health and power generation can be monitored in real time through an Enphase PC or mobile phone app.  The installed solution can be viewed using Google Earth. The solar electricity solution incorporates 29 Solar World 240 Watt panels, with power gathered through M215 Endphase Energy microinverters located on each panel. The panels are have a zero degree incline, to assure approval of the Georgetown as well as Washington DC approval authorities. The solution provides move than half of the household annual electricity needs - and does make the meter run backward two months a year.

Home X
The house is a 1926 Sears and Roebuck bungalow with a second story addition designed by the Owner/Architect. Grid tied solar panels are located on the high roof. A stand-alone system powers the porch using PV panels, a pair of deep-cycle batteries, and a controller. This off-grid arrangement furnishes light for the porch, refrigeration for cold drinks  and power to pump water from a 300 gallon rainwater harvest cistern.

Home Y
This 1920s Sears kit home was re-retrofited in 1985 and again in 1993 to incorporate R38 insulation, double-paned low-e glass, geothermal (direct exchange) heat pump, solar water heater, and various types of photovoltaics (including peal-and-stick pv) field to a battery bank. The back office building has solar roofing shingles tied to a web-enabled battery bank, small wind turbine, and a hydrogen fuel cell, with super insulating glass and LEDs. Three drop-and-play solar units and a demo van with PV/wind and carbon, super-capacitor batteries.

Home Z
Our home is an electrically heated colonial built in 1978. In recent years we have replaced our windows and sliding doors with more energy efficient ones, and replaced and added insulation. We built an addition to our kitchen in 2010 and at the same time added solar panels to the roof to harnass solar power electricity.  It has reduced our electric bills considerably.

Home AA
6.75 kW solar rooftop system, consisting of 26 Trina panels of 250 Watts each. (plus 3 panels as stand-by). Autora-Power One/ABB Microinverters. Synchronized to the grid. Purchase Power Agreement with utility.

Home BB
Originally constructed in 2007 with a Windmill Hill built addition in 2014, the house is designed to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible without compromising on architecture or functionality.  The concrete slab with SIP construction and the triple pane windows enable effective passive and active solar heating of the home.  The narrow  footprint of the home is designed for air movement, and the owners have used wood milled from the property, salvaged architectural pieces, recycled components and other environmentally friendly finishes.  Outside the environmentally friendly features include a living roof,  a native species yard, Audubon at home certification, a rain garden, and a hybrid car. The result is a beautiful home with many advanced technologies that keep the environmental footprint low.  The addition was designed by Peter Henry with passive house standards in mind.  Come learn from our decisions, successes, and challenges in design and function.

Home CC
This 2250 sq ft Ryan home, built in 1981, has achieved a carbon-neutral footprint with a combination of a grid-tied, 13.3 kW PV system, solar heated water, geothermal heat pump, Energy Star appliances, LED and CFL lighting, Tesla Model S EV, and upgraded insulation.  The original 1850 sq ft home sports a 2011 addition which has high efficiency windows, 2x6 R27 walls and R63 ceiling.

Home DD
12 electric panels with micro inverters,  6 drain-back solar collectors preheat water which is fed into a tankless gas water heater that monitors input water temperature and adjusts the flame depending on how much heat is needed.


 


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