Sustainable Concept House
The key to achieving Platinum for this project was a combination of common sense passive solar principles perfectly integrated by architect Ben Adam, while utilizing five big technologies: whole house water harvesting system for all water usage; vertical closed loop geothermal system for heating and cooling; gray water reuse coupled with subsurface capillary irrigation for outdoor landscaping; solar water heating and a superior insulation/window package. The result – an off the grid house, for water, in a drought-prone area of Texas and an average electric bill of $150 for over 3,500 square feet. The huge water harvesting tanks needed to be out of sight because of HOA policies, so the two, 20,000-gallon Xerxes tanks were buried on-site with use of Grundfos pumps. A Solahart passive solar water heater was used, Kohler low-flow fixtures and appliances from Miele, aid in water conservation. Optima formaldehyde-free insulation was blown into 2x6 walls and Pella windows were used. Interior reuse materials that do not off-gas include Cypress wood in the kitchen for cabinetry; long leaf pine flooring salvaged from an old warehouse and beaded board reclaimed from Texas farmhouses for interior walls. With a combination of no VOC products, wood reuse, clean insulation and an Energy Recovery Ventilator, the indoor air quality is superior.