Recently, we had to opportunity to talk with Don Ferrier about the progress of a home called the Zero Energy Casita. Ferrier, president of Ferrier Custom Homes, started building earth-sheltered homes 25 years ago and has the distinct accomplishment of building the first LEED Platinum home in Texas. In this net zero energy beauty, Ferrier is building a home that generates as much energy in the course of a year as it consumes.
The 1,015 square-foot home was built with a combination of SIPs and advanced framing techniques. The tight envelope, careful placement of windows, and extreme insulation contribute to a 30 on the E-Scale (not counting on-site energy).
Of course, the Zero Energy Casita will generate some energy on-site. A 3.7 kW Skystream wind turbine is being installed on a 45-foot pole on a 90-foot hill nearby. The turbine will finish up where energy-efficient design left off.
With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the casita also has high-performance windows, a durable metal roof, a tankless water heater, an air filtration system, siding and flooring from an 80-year old barn, dual-flush toilets, PEX plumbing, low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star appliances, native landscaping, and no- and low-VOC paints.
Located on Eagle Mountain Lake in the Fort Worth Area, this home should be complete within 6-8 weeks. The reclaimed siding will get a red wash by that time, and Ferrier Custom Homes will have tours in March. Keep your eyes on the website, Zero Energy Casita.