Net Zero House
Situated just west of downtown Hood River, this 2,000 square-foot home is nestled into a gently north-sloping site with sweeping views across to the
north banks of the Columbia River. The homeowners have stipulated that the house produce all of the energy that it uses on-site, a net-zero
energy home relying on a 10kW photo-voltaic array located on the roof. Designed for a family of four and to serve as a rental house for much
of the year, the floor plan prioritizes flexibility and indoor-outdoor casual living. A studio on the lower floor may be used as separate guest
quarters or a home office. The open-plan main level includes living, dining, kitchen, a large folding glass wall opening out onto the southern
patio and a northeast-facing deck. A master bedroom and kids room with sleeping loft are located on the upper level with access to a roof deck.
In order to achieve net-zero energy, the home's envelope is designed with double-stud wall framing and dense-pack cellulose insulation with a super-tight
building wrap and triple-paned windows to reduce energy loads due to heat-loss. The high-efficiency mini-split mechanical system and heat-recovery ventilation
system further reduce the energy loads necessary to heat the home. All exterior materials, unfinished ipe wood siding and sil-LEED cement panel rainscreen
assemblies and fly-ash concrete have been selected for their low embodied energy and to avoid the need for refinishing and reduced long-term maintenance.
All spaces are arranged to maximize solar orientation and natural ventilation to keep the home passively cool during the summer months. The photo-voltaic
array, beyond generating energy for the home, will, like a parasol, reduce heat loads on the roof and keep the home cooler. The landscaping will be comprised
of plants that do not require long-term irrigation. The house has been sited in such a way as to preserve two large trees on the site.
The home is planned to be completed by early 2012.