Self-Generating net-zero Solar Farmhouse
Writing in InHabitat, Laura Mordas-schenkein asserts that net-zero energy (or NZE) is quickly becoming the gold standard in green building.
“If you can generate all of your own energy on site,” she writes. “ you never need to rely on the grid or worry about energy bills."
‘Affordable’ NZE Homes
Following the successful launch of a line of affordable net-zero energy homes last year, North Carolina prefab builders, Deltec,
have now introduced a brand new design to this collection - ; a classically-styled Solar Farmhouse. In addition to its old-fashioned curb appeal,
it boast futuristic technology to achieve net-zero energy.
The Solar Farmhouse contains everything that the classic vernacular farmhouse possesses — a pitched roof, quaint front porch, white wood siding and
simple lines — updated with a slew of energy-efficient features, including a passive solar design with a photovoltaic roof and an air-tight building
envelope that Deltec says simply “can’t be duplicated in the field.”
The two-story Solar Farmhouse encapsulates the “American Dream” - 2029 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a ‘darling’ 128 sq.ft. covered front porch.
Although it looks just like a traditional farmhouse, this updated design is packed with modern functionality. It boasts spacious rooms, 10-foot-high ceilings
,plenty of storage, and its open plan allows the home to circulate air more efficiently. Check out this virtual tour for a 360-degree view.
‘Passive’ Design – Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter
Built with traditional passive design concepts, every model in Deltec’s Renew Collection is dedicated to achieving net-zero energy independence.
Each home is fitted with an air-tight building envelope, and by adding high-performance insulation, natural air ventilation and solar shading,
each structure will stay naturally cool in summer and achieve the maximum insulation and solar heat gain possible in winter.
Only needs PV
Without requiring much energy to cool and heat these homes, they can be powered by a photovoltaic solar array alone, without relying on the grid,
successfully achieving net-zero energy.
Open Plan Living
The open layout of the Solar Farmhouse puts the kitchen, dining and living room all in one sprawling space. Deltec supplies the shell of the home,
with the option of several amenities that can be added to the homeowner’s liking. These amenities include a 240-square-foot covered back porch, metal roof,
fresh air ventilation, passive solar awnings, and a detached carport or garage. Buyers can also choose from pre-installed window packages and pre-stained
siding packages. Deltec also provides energy modeling to help homeowners select the best energy-efficient features for their home’s specific climate.
… and the Price?
The bare bones shell of the Solar Farmhouse starts at around US$62,000 (say £45k), while a finished home will likely range between US$350k-400k
(say £252k - £288k.)
UK or USA
It seems as though forward thinking designers and pre-fabricated home builders in the UK are already well up on what the Americans are offering.
However, UK ‘Planning’ generally requires that local design styles, if any, are observed, which places great restriction on replicating standard designs.
It often demands individual modelling and façade treatments to meet such criteria. While timber frame structures are eminently suited to provide this,
it does place extra burdens and challenges on the small number of people with the knowledge and experience to do so. Furthermore, unless part of some
comprehensive re-development, which seems unlikely, most of the work will need to be quite individualised and small scale.
Prefabrication Is Key
Factory prefabrication of elements like walls and floors can always be considered for OSM (Off-Site-Manufacture).There is also little doubt that
integrating the use of more components that are produced off-site under factory controlled conditions, can go a long way to helping to prevent accidents
on-site. This includes the availability of carefully selected complimentary components and methods to speed up work on site as well as providing unusual
and hard to find environmentally sound, eco-friendly, sustainable and complimentary building products and components that facilitate merging with local
Your Partner in Development
Whether you are an architect, builder or private client, almost certainly you will (at least soon) be aware that building sites can be very dangerous places.
Working with our teams we believe will help you to provide safer sites as well as better value and more readily marketable homes. Our specialist services
and CUSTOM homes division deliver best value and protect the interests of land owners, house-builder developers, professionals and private individuals
seeking to build their dream home. Our off-site construction systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site, helping to avoid land fill,
hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver better value for you and your customers.
PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION AS TO HOW WE MIGHT WORK TOGETHER
Call us to arrange a factory visit and discuss your ideas and needs with our in-house team of professionals for your next project. You’ll be glad you did!