Ultimate Green Dream Home

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by de_nogent, May 9, 2010.

  1. de_nogent

    de_nogent New Member

    Hypothetical situation:

    Shipping container house
    Passive solar design
    GSHP + Hydronic + Solar Thermal
    South Louisiana
    ~1,040 sq. ft.

    I plan to build a house with recycled shipping containers utilizing passive solar orientation. I would prefer a GSHP and hydronic system as the main source for space conditioning, augmented with solar thermal panels for additional heat, and a PV panel to power the pump. I hear that concrete is the best material for the hydronic tubing(?). Drillers are not hard to find around these parts, so vertical/directional installation of the GSHP is a possibility. And I would prefer this method as it takes up less land area and causes less property damage.

    In addition, I'm also considering air source earth tubes and a ventilation system with heat exchanger. However, Louisiana has a high relative humidity - Is there some kind of fan with integrated dehumidifier available?

    I would like to hear some feedback about the best ways to insulate the house. One method I plan to incorporate is a green roof with rainwater collection system. I'm interested in a modular concrete/calcium silicate panels for exterior cladding. Radiant barrier and cellulose insulation seem like good options for the interior. I'm not sure about the type of windows to use, which will be abundant on the South side of the house. Any suggestions?

    After the house's energy needs are met I plan to install additional solar PV and/or wind turbines to generate surplus energy to sell to the utility company.

    I think that just about covers everything. What do you think? Any comments or questions would be appreciated!


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2010
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Based on having crunched numbers for such things in the past:

    -don't worry about coupling solar PV with heat pump energy requirements.
    -especially if you are planning to be future grid tied anyway

    Sounds like you are building new, so not sure why you are worried about "property damage" from horizontal? Grass seed doesn't cost that much.

    Air source earth tubes is a mass transfer vs a heat transfer. Control over air quality and dehumidification will be the main issues. Opening and closing windows accomplishes much of the same.

    Really your best net-zero "green" home is a log home with a wood furnace. But nothing except money (and possibly zoning regulations and such) stops one from progressing from there.
  3. de_nogent

    de_nogent New Member


    Thanks for the suggestions - much appreciated. Please allow me to further explain my intentions: The Ultimate Dream Green Home's purpose, aside from providing me with shelter, is to set an example for other homeowners and builders in this region. Ideally, I would like to incorporate as many green technologies as possible/necessary. In particular, new building methods, recycled materials, and renewable energy systems. However, simpler is better. The house could serve as an educational model; an ongoing experiment in sustainable design.

    I'm all about cutting down my "carbon footprint," not only for environmental reasons, but also to avoid the dreaded carbon tax. My ultimate goal with this project is to build a zero energy building (ZEB) that can produce a net surplus of energy (aka: energy-plus building). I want to explore and promote a holistic design approach to building construction.

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