MAILBOX: Solar Home Update

Beginner

In HP174, a 3-D rendering of the small passive solar home I designed was published. I thought you might like to see how the actual home turned out.

I’ve only occupied the house for a couple of months, but I’m pleased and impressed with its performance so far. With R-42 walls and R-70+ in the ceiling, it usually stays in the low 60s on its own, and the 7 kW PV system installed by Solar Market has easily kept up with my electricity needs.

One nice feature of the house was how little waste was generated during the construction. My builder had only a small pile of OSB and framing lumber ends left when he was done. With conventional homes, he says he fills a Dumpster or two.

It was a lot of work, but the end result was worth it. I still have to finish the inside, but I’m having a lot of fun with it and enjoying the experience of being energy-independent.

Craig Merrow • Wells, Maine

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