Building a home for ourselves is always a great opportunity to try out new design techniques and materials before bringing them to other people. We bought this lot not quite 100% sure if we would move here, but after spending a lot of time walking the street, getting to know the neighbors and designing a home for children and pets, we decided this location was ideal for us.
Designed to meet the Passive House Standard, we anticipate having very low utility bills. The house is designed for the following:
- Airtight building shell – 0.6 ACH @ 50 pascal pressure, measured by blower-door test
- Annual heat requirement – 15 kWh/m2/year (4.75 kBtu/sf/yr)
- Primary Energy – 120 kWh/m2/year (38.1 kBtu/sf/yr)
To better understand this in daily usage, our heating and cooling loads should be less than 10% of our total energy use in the house. So low in fact that in the winter the heat from cooking, electronics, and our own bodies should provide enough heat to warm the house. We’ll see. But the remaining energy draws in the house depends on the specific energy efficiency of each appliance or type of lighting selected. We decided to go with a gas stove/oven, but otherwise went with electric appliances/heat. We also decided to install solar thermal hot water and PV panels for electricity. Our net utility costs should actually be negative (a credit from Dominion) during the summer.
The lot had a house on it that the previous owner let fall into disrepair and it had to be torn down. This makes building on the site a bit easier in that there was already a driveway curb cut and utilities to the site. And we get to be part of a neighborhood that has been there for over 100 years. As you can see, we are trying out a hybrid modern/traditional design. Sort of an update on my parents’ 1892 house on High Street. See if you can figure out which one.
- Executive Cabinetry (FSC and ESP certified)
- Mythic and American Pride no-VOC interior paint
- Viking gas stove/oven (American made!)
- Executive Cabinetry kitchen cabinets
- Serious (now Alpen) triple pane fiberglass windows
- Mitsubishi Mr. Slim P Series mini-splits (one unit/floor with 2.5 ton outdoor unit)
- Ultimate Air Energy Recovery Ventilator system
- Grid-tied PV panels (16 Sharp 235 watt solar PV modules NU-U235F4 or NU-Q235F4 (3.76 kW); 16 Enphase 215 Micro Inverter; and Enphase internet monitoring kit)
- Solar thermal hot water (Apricus AP30; 80 Gallon Vaughn solar storage tank; and Califfe solar pumping station)
- Blog posts on 310 6th Street SW
Unique / Central / Private Apt – Apartments for Rent in Charlottesville
Apartment in Charlottesville, United States. Rent the ground floor apartment of our unique solar powered corrugated metal home (built in 2011) super centrally located. Separate back entrance. Full kitchen with dishwasher and range. Walk-in tiled shower. Tons of windows. The apartment has a s… View all listings in Charlottesville
Our house was also featured in Sherry and John Petersik’s 2nd Young House Love book, Lovable Livable Home. Check it out! Our Belmont Avenue house is also featured in the book.