This ultra-efficient home is repaying owner Scott Shackleton with money from putting excess electricity into the grid. Located on a narrow lot in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, the shotgun-style home generates nearly two-times the electricity it uses with a 4.7 kW solar array on the roof. That plus about 85% of domestic water is pre-heated with solar thermal, resulting in more energy savings.
Shackleton House has 1,400 square feet with a bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen on the first level and a home office and master suite on the second level. An operable skylight at the top of the stair shaft can be opened in the summer — taking advantage of the chimney effect — to cool the interior.
Using the same approach taken in the net-zero energy Kaneda House, south-facing windows in the Shackleton House filter sunlight, which warms the concrete floors, and the floors then release retained heat when it cools down at night.
For the rest of heating, cooling, and ventilation, this home has radiant floors warmed by the solar thermal system and a back-up tankless water heater, three direct-vent gas fireplaces, a quad-zone ductless mini-split system for cooling (18.5 SEER), Energy Star ceiling fans, and a Broan SmartSense system to exhaust the kitchen and bathrooms.
The single-family home obtained an incredible HERS Rating of 7, meaning it’s 93% more efficient than a new home built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. Verification for NAHB Gold level certification is complete but the paper still needs to be issued.
To achieve this level of performance, builder Craft Construction, LLC framed the home with 2″x6″ studs, 24″ on center, and insulated it using Icynene spray foam. Other than an antique entry door, windows and doors are Energy Star and so are appliances and lights.
Shackleton House, 16′ wide and 82′ long, is wrapped with HardiePlank lap siding, HardiePanel siding in a board and batten look, and cedar shakes. The roof is a long-lasting standing-seam metal version in a light color that reflects the sun.
Collection tanks hold 1,200 gallons of rainwater that’s filtered and used in the garden and for the dual-flush toilets. At the same time, it helps that the landscaping is completed with indigenous plantings that don’t require much water. There’s also a vegetable garden and small green house where the owner grows food during the year.
Owner Shackleton told Jetson Green he “wanted to show that it is possible to build an efficient home at a reasonable size for a reasonable price in an urban area.” So he started with smart design and efficient construction before investing in green technology. In the end, the home cost $275,000 to build; however, the sale of extra electricity will enable a 10-year payback on upgrades.
Shackleton shared this solar-powered home with Jetson Green using the 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.
Photo credits: Scott Shackleton.