“The River House”
I like to post links to stories about interesting houses. Here’s one in Westport, MA:
From the article it seems like it’s a triumph of architecture — and a catastrophe of building science.
“The River House consumes no fossil fuels. Its heat and hot water are derived from a number of sources, including active solar panels, passive solar heat, and four 300-feet-deep geothermal wells, which pull up water that is heated by two large-capacity heat pumps. The entire house is warmed by radiant heat from the floors — along with the natural effects of sun streaming through glass doors, windows, walls and roof.”
“About a third of the roof is covered with solar panels, but that cannot produce enough power for the entire house. The panels generate about 20% of the home’s electricity.”
It’s 3400 square feet and from the pictures looks to be all on one level. So let’s say 1100 square feet of solar. I figure that’s about 60 panels, about 24,000 watts. In that area you get about a thousand hours a year of solar generation, so figure on about 24,000 kWh per year. If that’s 20% of the bill that would mean 120,000 kWh per year or about $36,000.
Also: ‘In the summertime, the greenhouse-effect of the glass can make things uncomfortably warm, but Levi said that’s when they throw open all those windows and let Mother Nature provide a solution. “We are blessed here, living on the east branch of the Westport River. In the summertime, there is a southeast wind blowing all the time,” he said.’
GBA Detail Library
A collection of one thousand construction details organized by climate and house part