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Bass Cove Zero Energy Idea House (Seattle, USA)

Credits: ©2009 Shirey Contracting in Issaquah, Washington, USA

The Zero Energy Idea House at Bass Cove, in Washington State, will provide approximately 5 kW of electricity to the home from its rooftop renewable energy systems: photovoltaics and a vertical axis wind generator. The home’s domestic hot water is also heated by the sun. The floors, walls, and roof of the Zero Energy Idea House are built with structural insulated panels, or SIPs. SIPs are constructed with expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam sandwiched between sheets of OSB (oriented strand board), which is an engineered wood product made from small pieces of scrap wood. Detailed house plans were sent to the SIPs manufacturer; custom-made panels were then cut and labeled at the plant and shipped to the site for easy installation. Window and door openings were also cut at the factory, and chases were pre-drilled for electrical wiring. The result is a tightly built, pre-insulated green building structure that goes up quickly with little waste.


Zero Energy Idea House PV and Veg Roof

By designing with the most efficient and power dense solar module on the market (SunPower), A & R Solar of Seattle was able to install a full 5.4 kW system. The array fit perfectly on the available roof designed to capture the sun's rays on the Zero Energy Idea House in Sammamish, Washington ©2010 A & R Solar

Zero Energy Project Includes:
Energy Efficiency Features
- SIPs (structural insulated panels)
- Photovoltaic solar panels
- Solar hot water
- Hydronic heating
- Energy-efficient windows
- ENERGY STAR® light fixtures
- ENERGY STAR® appliances
- Monitoring of energy use

Water Conservation Features
- Dual flush toilets
- Low-flow showerheads and faucets
- Rainwater collection system

Sustainably Produced and Durable Materials
- FSC certified wood products
- Recycled-content tile
- Salvaged wood flooring
- 50-year siding
- 40-year metal roof
- Locally manufactured materials 

Healthy Indoor Environmental Features
- Low-VOC paint
- Nontoxic finishes on flooring and cabinetry
- Formaldehyde-free insulation Formaldehyde-free cabinets
- No carpet
- Efficient ventilation

Low Impact Site Development and Natural Landscaping
- Compost erosion control
- Vegetated “green” roof to reduce stormwater runoff
- "Living wall”
- Drought-tolerant plant selections