Net Zero Sungazing House in Park City

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to tour this newly-built net-zero energy home in Park City, Utah.  The Sungazing House, built by Tall Pines Construction and designed by Jean Yves Lacroix, is home to the O’Meara family of four and features impressive views of the surrounding area.  Perhaps more impressive, however, is the fact that it’s pursuing Passive House, LEED Platinum, and NAHB Emerald certifications.

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Sungazing House was designed and built to minimize the need for energy.  It does this with site orientation, quad-pane Serious Windows, insulated 12″ walls and a 16″ ceiling, airtight construction, an HRV, Energy Star appliances, all LED lighting, a reflective roof, and thoughtful overhangs.

In fact, the ultra-efficient home is not a net user of electricity from the power grid.  Moreover, according to the builder, Sungazing House doesn’t require gas for space or water heating because it’s ultra-efficient and relies on solar hot water panels and underground water storage tanks.

One side of the home has a thick concrete facade lined with phase change wax — the trombe wall — that absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night.  This wall is certain to help with heating bills when the best snow on earth arrives in a few months.

The O’Meara’s home is in the desert, so water conservation is as much a priority as energy efficiency.  Products used include dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets and shower heads, and drip irrigation for native, drought-tolerant plantings.

Sungazing House puts aspiration into practice, incorporating passive solar design and pretty much every green building certification system on the market.  The 3,800 square foot home has four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.  If you’re in the area, it’s one of nine homes on the Park City Showcase of Homes continuing the next two weekends.

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[+] See more photos of this Net-Zero Energy Green Home in Park City.

Credits: Jetson Green, LLC.


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  • http://www.daddypotamus.com Daniel Dessinger

    Thanks for this. I needed something sparkly and pretty to get my mind off things today. We just had a buyer back out of a contract on our home, so we’re disappointed. But seeing a house like this reminds me of the beauty of taking upon oneself the responsibility and privilege of creating something beautiful, functional, and worthy of emulation.

    • http://www.jetsongreen.com Preston

      Sorry to hear about the contract on your home falling through … as always, thanks for reading. We’ll keep the good stuff coming.

  • Bagelpower

    This house is gorgeous and has some great features. We are currently window shopping for our new home (a miserable experience) and finding it VERY hard to find any good information about new construction windows and hard to actually see a window. Its great to read a good article that actually mentions the window mfg – I am off to check them out some more.

    • Tara

      also check out Unilux windows

  • jsullivan68

    Wow Serious Materials windows seem like the standard if you’re going passive house. What a beautiful home. Preston, i like you are covering homes that are extreme energy savings and beautiful at the same time.

  • gerrr!

    I wasn’t gonna say anything, but do you suppose the designers purposely used thin metal sheets for its oil canning (and subsequent texture), or was it accidental because someone didn’t specify thicker gauge or was sold on it by a slick rep?

    I see everything else appears to be very exacting, so I’m leaning towards the intent to create texture, but it really sticks out for me.

  • Anonymous

    i love the attention to storage…lots of modern homes here leave this out…flat walls & no character

  • http://www.omearahouse.com Kevin

    Hello this is Kevin O’Meara and my family and I are the owners. The oil canning is less apparent in person, and even though we used a thicker guage metal to reduce this effect some was inevitable especailly on the tower as it has a curve surface. The south facing metal siding also allowed us to place PEX tubing (like that used in radiant floors) atop a shiney metal backing and under the metal to give us additional solar hot water heating. It also deverves note that the compnay that did all our energy consulting and solar engineering, Heiocentrics, accomplished things that several solar installers wouldn’t even attempt. For example our two 5000 gallon tanks, which werre required by the Summit County Fire Dept as were are far away from a hydrant, which we wrapped on ALL sides with 12 inches of styrofoam (R48) and then buried underground. Heliocentrics used corrugated stainless steel tubing bent around hand built frames to make 3 heat exchangeres in each tank, 6 all together. This is modeled to give a 3 month supply of heat during Winter when our 10 solar hot water panels that you see on our roof would have difficulty supply all our space heating, domestic hot water heating, and hot tub heating. Heliocentrics has placed 8 electronic window openers that were stagetically placed to maximize cold air intake and hot air exhaust that are thermastatically contolled. Same for our motorized solar shades. They have even programmed our radiant tubing system so that heat/cold can be transferred from one area to another. For example if it is getting hot upstairs and our ground floor is cool the system knows tohave the fluid circulate to even things out.

    • http://www.sethneal.com/ Seth Neal

      Kevin,

      I’m really interested to see if you guys pass the Passive House standard. I love that you are going for it. Its the future if you ask me (although I realize you’re not! Ha!). Keep us updated!

  • Kate

    Sungazing House is a great example of all the best green building standards – Passive House, Net Zero Energy and LEED Platinum! See the stunning and ultra-high performance SeriousWindows they used here: http://www.seriouswindows.com

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  • Drakej

    I am very interested in the phase PC tubes built into your walls.  Any info/sourcing you can pass on?  One or two would be perfect in a solar air fresh air preheater I am designing into my new home to store higher than needed heat at moment for non gain periods. 

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