I’ve just unveiled my first zero energy house — Zero Energy One — at Earthbag House Plans.
Unlike most zero energy houses that cost a small fortune (around $250,000), Zero Energy One earthbag house can be built for about $10/sq. ft. exclusive of the energy systems. This design minimizes net energy use, embodied energy in building materials, labor and cost. No other design that I am aware of accomplishes all these things. Complete plans are available through Dream Green Homes at http://dreamgreenhomes.com/plans/zeroenergy1.htm.
Guiding zero-energy housing strategies:
1. Build small
2. Efficient use of space
3. Low-embodied energy building materials (primarily locally available, natural materials)
5. Balance of mass and insulation
6. Multiple use features (serve more than one purpose)
7. Lifestyle change of inhabitants
8. Maximum solar design
9. Appropriate technology
10. Energy-efficient appliances and fixtures
11. Energy and resource-efficient shape
12. Safe and healthy design