Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Plans for the MA Zero Energy Challenge Winning Homne

The Montague Urban Homestead designed by Doug Stephens was the winner of the Massachusetts Zero Energy Challenge.  The house is a full Zero Net Energy home that generates more power than it uses on a yearly basis.

The 5 KW PV system you see on the roof generates all the power for both space heating (via a mini-split heat pump) and for all the homes electrical loads -- it actually generates substantially more power than the home uses on a yearly basis.

The house design is very effective but also simple and the home is affordable at $180K.

Doug has now made the "as built" plans for the home available as a free download -- thanks very much to Doug for doing this!

Information on the Montague Zero Energy Home ...

Plans for Montague Zero Energy Home ...

Some pictures of the home below.

The double stud, cellulose insulated wall provide cost effective super insulation with no thermal bridging.

Section showing raised heel roof trusses which allow for deep attic insulation.
Double stud walls are also visible.

The concrete slab is fully insulated with rigid extruded polystyrene board.

This small mini-split heat pump provides all the heating for the super-insulated and well sealed home.

The house also includes very efficient windows, solar water heating, south facing glazing for passive solar heating, very efficient appliances and lighting, a Heat Recovery Ventilation system,  and many other energy efficiency measures...



  1. I was just wondering if it would be possible to trickle water on top of the tin roof under the PV panels to haverst some heat. Keeping the PV panels cool in bright light increases the PV efficiency and life expectancy of the panels. How hot does it get under the panels?

  2. Hi John,
    I'll put a piece of the aluminum soffit material I have left over under mine and measure the temp. It may not be hot enough to do a lot, but will see.

  3. Hi

    Applying solar heating systems to homes are great but there should be technology through which we can analyse the whole cost for solar system. this can be done through a software named polysun solar simulator software.The results provided by this software is in the PDF format which are quite descriptive and it helps it's users by giving them best advice.

  4. Webmaster -- the software looks good, but for people doing just one system (their own), the $200+ even for the "light" version seems steep.
    It would be nice if you offered to do a single run for people for (say) $20. This way a DIY home owner would not have to pay for and learn a whole new software package.


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