Another Net-Zero in the Neighborhood

There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing our home’s net-zero-energy-on-a-budget concept emulated, and it’s even sweeter when it happens practically right in the neighborhood.

Dan Allison contacted us at the end of 2013 and said he and his wife had a lot near Seattle’s Carkeek Park, about three miles north of our house. We gave him and his a wife a tour of our home, and it wasn’t too long before Dan wrote back to say that he had broken ground on a home very similar to ours.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 2.07.00 PM

He worked with Ted Clifton Sr. of Zero-Energy Plans to come up with a design that would incorporate an existing small structure on the lot as a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU). The new structure would resemble our house and would have enough solar photovoltaic panels on the roof to cover the power needs of both houses.

“We are going to build the first (I believe) NetZero rental home in Seattle,” he wrote to me in July.

Dan started excavating back in September and came by to take a closer look at our radiant heating system. After some initial questions about building with structural insulated panels (SIPs), the Seattle Department of Planning and Development asked if they could use his house as a way to learn about that building material.

“They want to know more about how a SIPS panel house works as they are looking to encourage energy efficiency in new building,” wrote Dan. “We will be working with the inspectors and planners to help everyone understand how this house goes together. As a result we will be able to forgo special inspections that are done by third party and add to building costs.”

Perhaps the coolest thing about this project–even more than that it’s partly inspired by our house or that the city is studying it–is that Dan is serving as the general contractor to keep costs down. He’s even doing much of the labor himself and enlisting the help of friends to raise the SIPs walls. Very inspiring!

Follow Dan’s progress here.

Radiant heating system powered by a heat pump.

Radiant heating system powered by a heat pump.

Dan enlisted the help of friends to raise the walls.

Dan enlisted the help of friends to raise the walls.

These SIPs walls look familiar.

These SIPs walls look familiar.


3 thoughts on “Another Net-Zero in the Neighborhood

  1. Thanks for the post. I’d love to see the finished product. I’m researching materials (and designs) I might like to use on our future house. Thanks again… informative.

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