NZE House / Paul Lukez Architecture
- Area :
Josh MacDonald, Craig Hinrichs, Shari Vaccarella
Text description provided by the architects. The Jenson-DeLeeuw Net-Zero Energy House is a 2,000-square-foot home on two acres of rural land in Harvard, Massachusetts. This comfortable home is powered entirely by the sun and has energy left over for the owners electric car; Kudos to an LG solar photovoltaic system and two Sonnen batteries that manage energy intervals. This house is integrated into its natural environment and carefully located at the highest point of the campsite to catch as much sun as possible. Passive design principles keep the home moderate year-round: Deep overhangs protect the interior from overexposure and overheating, while open floor plans and high ceilings allow natural ventilation and airflow throughout. The house is owned by two JRR Tolkien fans who named their new home “Rivendell” after the Elvan village in Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
drawing from nature, The Jenson-DeLeeuw House combines bright, comfortable living spaces, integrated into nature. It is carefully situated and sloped on a gentle elevation amid a rustic rural landscape. This gives the residents a pleasant natural landscape while harnessing the path of the sun for electricity generation through renewable energy technologies. The clean energy systems (PV + Batteries) generate and save energy.
Clean energy generation. The house’s energy network generates 21,000 kWh annually via 56 LG photovoltaic solar panels. Excess energy is stored in two sets of 16 kWh Sonnen batteries. The house has three mini-splits for heating/cooling. The roof is bluntly tilted to optimize the collection of solar energy. By monitoring the generated and consumed energy on a daily basis, this system can store excess energy for consumption in the evening and during inclement weather. With a certified HERS rating of -23, the home generates 23% more energy than a similar-sized home of its type, allocating ample energy at a lower cost to residents. In addition, the batteries store energy to power the owner’s Chevrolet Bolt EV electric car, reducing pollution from exhaust fumes.
Passive solar design. The south wall’s expansive windows flood the interior with natural light and winter heat. Deep roof overhangs protect spaces from overexposure and overheating. Open floor plans and high ceilings allow for natural ventilation and airflow. In winter, triple-glazed windows, insulated walls (R 43) and low infiltration details optimize solar gain. A wood-burning stove in the living-dining-kitchen provides extra heating on the coldest days.
Insulation and integration of walls. Huber Engineered Woods’ Zip System, a highly efficient jacket and stretch band network of structural panels, gives the walls superior insulation and eliminates moisture build-up. Architecturally, weathered gray cedar siding blends the home with its wooded, rocky setting. The deck, patio, stairs, and landscaping walls visually enhance the home’s bond with nature and its reliance on nature’s nourishing forces for the livelihoods of its residents.
An Energy-Plus prototype. This house addresses many sustainability dilemmas. It provides access to renewable energy when the sun is not shining. It generates sustainable energy without the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. It also powers transportation that uses only renewable energy sources. As a prototype for comparable energy-neutral homes, this house shows that we can indeed make homes that generate more energy than they consume.