DOE Tour of Zero: Casa Aguila by Alliance Green Builders
You are here
Alliance Green Builders built this 3,129-square-foot custom home in Ramona, California, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
In a quest for energy and water self-sufficiency, the homeowners installed 22 kW of sun-tracking photovoltaic panels, a 3.2-kW wind mill, batteries for power storage, a solar thermal water heating system, and nine 10,000-gallon tanks as part of a water collection and recycling system that meets all of the home’s domestic water, irrigation, and fire suppression needs.
The solar-reflectant metal roof and low-emissivity triple-pane windows block unwanted solar gain while the home’s U-shaped design and deep overhangs provide shade.
Stone, gravel, and pavers provide a pervious, fire-resistant ground cover around the home while xeriscaping keeps irrigation needs at a minimum. Behind the home’s three-coat stucco siding, a liquid-applied membrane provides a weather-resistant barrier and rain screen.
ENERGY STAR appliances and LED lighting provide water and energy savings.
ENERGY STAR ceiling fans and triple-pane tilt-and-turn windows help reduce the need for air conditioning.
The 2-by-6 double-stud advance-framed walls are stuffed with R-56 of blown cellulose. Sheets of phase-change material are installed over the cellulose to help even out interior temperatures in this high-desert location.
The roof-mounted solar thermal panels and an air-to-water heat pump provide hot water for the home’s radiant floor heating system.
The home’s energy management system tracks energy and water usage and production. A 40-kW battery storage system is the home’s first source of power, with the grid connection serving as a backup.
In addition to solar water heating, the home is equipped with a fan coil supplied by an air-to-water heat pump and a ducted mini-split heat pump that provides backup heating and cooling. A heat pump water heater provides additional backup hot water.
“Living in a Zero Energy Ready Home has changed our lives.”
Click on the box to learn more.
“Living in a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home has changed our lives … The whole house ventilation system makes the air cleaner and healthier … We charge our EVs with the energy we produce …We plan to be completely independent of the grid at some point. For now, it's great to know we are giving more energy back than we are consuming.”