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Flora Vista

Designed by Roussa Cassel / Artisans Group

Completed 2019

This is really two houses in one.  A two-story family house connected to an ADA accessible, aging-in-place house for the grandparents. It so super insulated that it barely needs heat in the winter.  Without a huge heating load, it’s easy to completely power both structures (and an electric car) with the rooftop solar array.  The house is a certified Net Zero/ Passive House.  Artisans Group and Passive House consultants Dan Whitmore and Skyler Swinford put the house design through a ridiculously thorough analysis of all the climate variables and churn out a prescription for exactly how much insulation is needed to meet an annual energy target.  In this case we built a typical Bicycle Homebuilding shell but with even more insulation everywhere: 8” EPS foam below the slab, 2x8 Advanced Framed walls filled with BIBS insulation and with 4” of graphite impregnated foam outside of the sheathing, quadruple-paned windows, and an R-75 ceiling.  The house is extensively air sealed and Blower Door tested at three different stages to track down every possible leak. The house is continually ventilated by an ingenious device called a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) which provides constant fresh air throughout the house while retaining 95% of the heat.  


And it works!  The house has been producing 20% more electricity than it uses per year.  in 2020 the electric bills added up to $1,471 and the power company paid $1,946 for the solar incentives.  Their is no gas or propane, so the total cost for all energy was -$475 last year.  Subtract the cost of gas for the most-used family car and at least another $1,000 was saved.  More importantly, the house, or car (and future cars) won’t ever need to use any greenhouse gasses for it’s entire lifetime.  

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