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The Emerald Home was built as an educational showcase home—not a custom house. As such, it makes few compromises in sustainability. Despite its large (4,150 square foot) size, it achieves its net-zero goal. In fact, Dancer helped write the local building code, including a clause that insists that homes over 8,000 square freet must be built net zero. The building also captures 100% of roof rainfall—storing it in three 1,700-gallon cisterns.


The builder is using the finished home to educate both the public and design professionals on how to build sustainably. He’s well aware that when building a larger than average home, taking steps to reduce the initial construction footprint are important, both for the planet and for his credibility.


“That’s why we used immense amounts of reclaimed and recycled materials in this house,” he says. “That’s one way to reduce the impacts of construction.”


Timbers in bedrooms include Vigas dead wood from nearby forests. A clean-burning ceramic solid fuel stove provides heat if needed. Giant hewn beams were salvaged from 200-year-old barns. Some of the PV panels (bottom) are mounted on a Wattsun solar tracker, optimizing performance.


 


WATTSUN SOLAR TRACKER
Produced by Array Technologies, this dual-axis solar tracking system orients PV panels in the direction of the sun and also tilts them to the optimal angle. Each tracker can handle up to 225 square feet of PV panels. www.wattsun.com


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
> For a complete product list of this project, scan the bar code below. Or go to www.greenbuildermag.com and click on the Green Products tab.


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GreenBuilder 12.2010

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