Faren Dancer, a green builder and activist, has announced his latest and award-winning project – a geothermal-solar electric home that produces enough of its own energy to be considered a zero-carbon residence. This is the first home in Northern New Mexico to utilize geothermal for radiant heating, cooling and hot water. It uses no propane or natural gas.
The home, which recently won the 2012 Sustainable Santa Fe Award for “Clean Renewable Energy Project,” uses a 3.6 KW photovoltaic solar tracker, which tracks the sun throughout the day, while providing a 20% increase in efficiency beyond a typical roof or ground mount installation. Dancer’s radio show, Unicopia Green Radio, is a featured on Hutton Broadcasting radio station Talk 1260 KTRC. Hutton Broadcasting is the parent company of SantaFe.com.
The residence also incorporates a super high-efficient building envelope utilizing Energy Star rated windows, doors and skylights, under slab insulation, blown-in cellulose and closed cell polyurethane foam. This application of building science also addresses thermal bypass, the movement of air from one plane to another within the framing structure. A filtered air exchange system helps assure fine indoor air quality, as tightly built structures require air exchanges during the heating and cooling seasons when the home is kept closed. This air exchange system also incorporates a dehumidification feature that maintains correct dew point during the summer rainy season, assuring the optimal function of the radiant cooling system.
Certified green products such as adhesives, caulks, paints, plasters and finishes, help achieve the goal of providing a healthy indoor environment by eliminating volatile organic compounds. All cabinetry is formaldehyde free, thus eliminating another indoor pollutant typically found in residential construction.
To watch a video of the project, click here.
Beyond energy efficiency, the home incorporates numerous features that demonstrate the home’s commitment to sustainability, including bamboo cabinetry, ceramic tile with high recycled content, natural plaster, recycled quartz countertops and waterless urinals.
Faren is also in the completion phase of a unique off-grid, passive/active solar building model that utilizes 100% roof water catchment with no well or municipal water source. This home, located on 485 acres in a land conservancy with the Santa Fe Land Trust, also demonstrates land stewardship and restoration.
For further information on the home and other green building models, please visit http://www.unicopia.org.
Sustainable Santa Fe