At the tail end of last week, Shirey Contracting broke ground on the Zero Energy Idea House located at Bass Cove near Bellevue, Washington.  The house is intended to be kind of an inspirational structure that can help homeowners move toward energy independence.  As a zero energy house*, the goal is to generate all the necessary energy from on-site power and efficiency measures.  Specifically, the Idea House will have rooftop solar, solar hot water, and a vertical-axis small wind turbine, judging by the rendering.  In addition, the 1700 sf home will have a large, 1200 sf green roof and a host of other green features, such as:

Efficient SIP construction, Energy Star light fixtures and appliances, real-time energy monitoring, dual-flush toilets, water efficient fixtures, rainwater collection system, recycled content tiles, FSC and salvaged wood products, low-VOC paints, non-toxic finishes, formaldehyde free cabinets and insulation, efficient ventilation, and drought tolerant plant selections, to name a few.

The home is expected to be complete in early 2009, so we’ll keep you posted.

*As one small carve out to the home’s zero energy status, the project team decided to go with a gas-powered, efficient, hydronic in-floor radiant heating system.  That decision makes sense, though, because they’re using all the roof space for greenery, solar panels, and solar hot water, so solar thermal for the radiant floors might have been a stretch — it’s not that big of a home. 




Architectural renderings by Clinkston Brunner Architects.