This is Morning Sun, a near net-zero energy home completed at the end of December 2009 for owners Doug and Emily Boleyn.  The high-performance abode — designed by Matthew Daby of m.o. daby design llc and built by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes — received LEED Platinum certification, Oregon High Performance Home certification, and an Energy Performance Score of 31, making it one of the most decorated green projects in Happy Valley.

As with all high-performance homes, the devil is in the detail.  Morning Sun has R15 rigid foam insulation under the slab, R38 insulation above the crawl space, and R49 roof/ceiling insulation with 2″ sprayed on foam and a layer of batt insulation.  The walls are framed with 8″ staggered studs, which reduce thermal bridging, and blown-in fiberglass (R32).

The home’s passive solar design negotiates a sloping lot with 90% solar access and provides mountain views to the south and east.  It has three levels: the main level with a great room, master suite, and home office (1,788 square feet), the lower level with two bedrooms, a bathroom, storage, and recreation (879 square feet), and the loft with a sun room (169 square feet).

Windows take up about 785 square feet of the facade, of which, 43% of the windows, or 338 square-feet, face south.  This is a key aspect of the design made possible with the use of tuned windows from Serious Windows.

The south and east windows have a U-value of .22 and a solar heat gain coefficient of .54 to permit heat gain from the morning sun in the winter.  The north and west windows have a U-value of .14 – .18 and a SHGC of .22 to block solar heat gain.  Roof overhangs shade the high-performance windows to prevent heat gain during the summer.

The south-facing roof also supports a 4.725 Echo solar array with 21 SunPower 225-watt black modules and 7 PVT warm air collectors.  This versatile system generates electricity, water heating, and supplementary space heating, as well as a night flush of cool air during the summer.  Echo blends into the roof in a non-obtrusive and beautiful way, so it’s not the kind of thing to raise neighborhood aesthetic concerns.

Similar to a Japanese home with sliding shoji and room-specific heating and cooling, Morning Sun has two Fujitsu ductless mini-split heat pumps with four indoor units in different zones of the interior.  The owners use the zones to heat and cool all or part of the home as necessary, providing a form of flexibility and control that can lead to significant energy savings.

Almost all of the lights are CFLs, while the appliances are mostly Energy Star.  Three SolaTubes bring natural lighting into the home and a tankless Noritz system is used to heat water.  On the whole, the owners estimate that the utility bill with both electricity and natural gas will run about $263 per year.

Other green features of the Morning Sun home include a 1,500 rainwater collection tank, locally-harvested and milled framing lumber, reclaimed wood accents, 100% wool carpet, bamboo floors, rain screen siding application, fly ash mix of foundation, recycled-content gypsum board, recycled content metal roof shingles, Moen low-flow faucets and toilets, water-efficient landscaping, and plumbing for a future grey water system.

I first learned about Morning Sun through our new green home submission form.  If you have a great green home project or renovation, feel free to submit it to the editors for potential publication.

Credits: m.o. daby design llc.