Architect Paul Lukez has come up with a concept for a compact home, which would be super insulated and energy positive. While still in the concept stage, it does look quite promising. The design of the home was inspired by New England’s barns and New York’s lofts and that is quite a mixture.
The so-called Solar Barn Loft measures 2,000 sq ft (186 sq m) and was built with energy efficiency in mind from the ground up. It features openings on the southern façade, which help to minimize solar heat gain in the summer and maximizes it in the winter. A row of deciduous trees would also be used to block the summer sun, while they would allow the winter sun through. In addition to that, there would also be a large deck, which would be capable of bouncing light up to the reflective underside of the south-facing eve. This would assist in lighting the house naturally, while heat would not be reflected.
The roof features an inverted scissor truss that would be installed with a 48-panel photovoltaic array. This solar array would be able to generate 16,300 kWh per year, while the home would only need an estimated 14,905 kWh per year, giving energy positive status to the building. The angle of the roof allows for maximum exposure to the sun as well as aid in the ventilation.
There are spaces inside the truss, which can be closed in cold weather, and opened in warmer weather to allow for natural ventilation. Air ducts are also in place to bring cool air from the basement, and these can also be opened or closed as needed.
As for insulation, the wall cavity is filled with blown cellulose, while for the roof they would uses Icynene spray-in-place soft foam insulation. The latter is 100 percent water-blown and contains no environmentally harmful blowing agents. The windows would be triple-glazed windows. All the flooring and siding would be made of wood, while they would strive to use recycled materials were possible. The home would also have a rainwater collection system mounted on the roof.
While construction has not yet begun, Lukez is confident it will soon. He estimates that the build time would be 12 months with an estimated cost of $500,000 to $600,000.