Energy-Smart Homes, in Detail
Six of the most efficient homes ever published in Fine Homebuilding
See six of the most efficient homes ever published in Fine Homebuilding in this resourceful slide show. Learn from their detailed wall and roof assemblies, mechanical and renewable systems, material choices, and the expertise of the designers and builders.
This 1000-sq.-ft. retirement home, designed for comfort and flexibility, cost about $160 per sq. ft. to build. Depending on siting, a house built with the same plans is capable of meeting the Passive House standard.
A highly insulated, airtight building shell that makes use of solar gain to lower space-heating demands means that the cost and complexity of the mechanical systems can be minimized.
This California farmhouse has a beautifully inviting exterior, an open floor plan, and a strong connection to outdoor spaces. It also met the stringent Passive House standard.
This home consumes as little energy as possible and holds onto that energy for as long as possible through a series of components that have been detailed to ensure optimum performance while being practical to build.
From the rainwater collection to the timber-frame joinery, this house illustrates environmentally responsible design and a contemporary style prominent in the Pacific Northwest.
The home uses five strategies to optimize comfort and performance while lowering energy bills: passive heating and cooling, solar shading, rainwater harvesting, earth sheltering, and natural daylighting.
In a hot and humid climate where air-conditioning runs electric bills through the roof, this gut rehab is now a comfortable, efficient, and durable home with energy bills about half those of similar homes in the area.
To maximize efficiency, this HVAC system is based around a dehumidifier that removes moisture from outside air before it’s processed by the small minisplit upstairs and the air conditioner downstairs.