Zero energy

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No, that's not how I'm feeling right now. Au contraire! It's actually the headline in a press release from Appalachian State University about a new home in Hickory that uses ZERO ENERGY.

Completed in Fall 2005, the home has served as both a research facility and as the local office for Habitat for Humanity. Appalachian students regularly conduct research on the home to monitor its energy usage, and systems performance.

The home combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction and appliances with commercially available, renewable energy systems. With its reduced energy needs and solar energy systems, a ZEH can return as much energy as it takes from the utility grid on an annual basis.

This is a very cool thing . . . and it makes you get just how completely insane our nation's so-called strategic energy policy really is. Imagine if the billion dollars a month we're pouring into Iraq had been spent developing this kind of technology!

Another feature of the home is a geothermal heat pump which exchanges the air temperature with the constant underground temperature in order to heat and cool the home. In addition to the state-of-the-art features, the home also has recycled tile, high performance windows and the most energy efficient appliances available. All of these energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies add up to a house that can produce more energy than it uses.



how long does it take to recoup the initial extra cost?

"Keep the Faith"

Will have to do some digging

I would bet this particular house could never recoup the costs of energy-efficient engineering. It was a demonstration project with tons of students and consultants involved, no doubt.

The trick will be generating enough incentives and scale to drive production costs down to a workable level. And also adding in the fully loaded cost of greenhouse gas impacts, diminishing need for power plants, landfill diversion, etc.


The school where I spent the first two years of college spent some extra money to make the dorms more environmentally safe. They said it would only take either 5 or 15 years (i forget) to recoup the costs.

"Keep the Faith"


Im a fan.

Biggest problem that I see is places that are flatter, would seem to be a built in hassle.

"Keep the Faith"


That makes a lot of sense.

"Keep the Faith"

Love it.

Maybe we should build some in Chapel HILL. :)


Really, nice work. Very creative. And almost inevitable considering the toxic environment we're creating. We'll all be underground one of these days (no pun intended).