How do you design a site that fits the small-space requirements of an in-town (Portland, Maine) lot, meets the needs of not just any family, but that of your daughter’s family, consisting of the husband/wife, infant son and two large dogs, meets exacting accessibility standards, since your daughter is a quadriplegic, and is near net zero to boot? These challenges might scare off many architects, but not John Gordon, who met this challenge with enthusiasm! The home is all electric, using an air to water heat pump for radiant heat powered by solar energy. There is a 7.2 kilowatt grid tied solar electric array, which will produce roughly 8,830 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. The home also features a solar hot water system consisting of two Wagner solar hot water collectors and a Caleffi solar storage tank with electric backup. All told, the combination of aggressive air sealing and efficient systems should equal very small operating costs for the Russell family – the energy model predicts total annual costs for the home to be about $300 annually.

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Energy Needs Met

75% to 99%

of electricity

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