This is an update to a prior article about Tierra del Sol, a community of 22 prefab, starter homes, located in Stockton, California. Built in modules by California-based ZETA Communities, the homes in Tierra del Sol have three bedrooms, two baths, and 1,268 square feet. They’re homes are also expected to use about 45% less energy each than a typical home.
I recently read about an impressive, three-unit residential building in Portland, Maine through an article by Seth Koenig in the Bangor Daily News. After a little digging, I learned the project is spearheaded by Paul Ledman and Colleen Myers, as owners and developers, Mike White of Island Carpentry, the general contractor, and Kaplan Thompson Architects, the architectural firm. Ledman wanted a future-forward building and ended up with something that doesn’t use fossil fuels.
Carolyn and Kyle Cave, both university professors in Hadley, Massachusetts, built this super-insulated home to minimize energy consumption. Then they dropped a 20kW solar PV array on the roof and now use energy from the sun to generate a surplus that also powers this tiny little Wheego LiFe electric vehicle. I was able to ask Carolyn Cave a few questions about their solar-powered situation, and this is a portion of that response:
The biennial Solar Decathlon finished today and teams will begin the grunt work of taking their homes back or sending them off if the homes were acquired. As we’ve done in the past, here’s a short roundup of all 19 Solar Decathlon homes for 2011. The competition fosters the design, build, and operation of net-zero energy homes that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Maryland won the entire competition, and Appalachian State was given the People’s Choice Award.
zHome is a contemporary, new, townhome development in Issaquah, Washington. The homes go on sale this month and have received national attention, such as in the video embedded below with the Wall Street Journal. Homes in this community will use zero net energy — after considering all energy used and produced during a year — and zHome may just be the first townhome project in the country to achieve such a feat.
KB Home, a publicly-traded home builder with its headquarters in Los Angeles, this month announced the nationwide roll out of net-zero energy home designs called ZeroHouse 2.0. The standard KB Home with Energy Star certification is built to save homeowners about $1,000 in average annual energy costs, while a ZeroHouse 2.0 design is expected to eliminate monthly electricity charges.