Trax

Trax

This 2,540 square-foot clerestory (one-and-a-half story) family house has an integrated, differently heat-zoned 1,040-square-foot garage and woodshop sitting within the SIPs shell. It was built in 2020 in western Washington.

A rigorous passive-solar window design uses the majority south-facing glazing for wintertime heating, shaded in summer by a shallow south porch and accurate south clerestory overhang. Multi-direction daylight penetrates and reflects deep into the connected main living space and second-floor balcony via the high second-floor clerestory glazing. 

Multiple cutting-edge HVAC and home-automation systems integrate to deliver low-cost air-to-water heat pump-based central heating, cooling, and fresh-air delivery, triggered via automatic carbon-dioxide and humidity sensors. Alexa-driven automated lighting and blinds are installed, a home-automation system that will expand in its capabilities as more options become available.

The clients’ requirement for a spacious first-floor master suite led us to design a smaller second floor in relation to the first. The clerestory design accommodates this layout by producing a daylight-rich one-and-a-half-story house.

Specifications

  • U.S. Department of Energy Net-Zero certified
  • Chilltrix CX34 air-to-water heat pump
  • Zehnder 550Q heat recovery ventilator (HRV), with in-line fan coil from Chilltrix
  • Development dedicated 1 acre of pastureland to a perpetual conservation easement, ensuring growth of native species
  • 12.4 kW of solar panels installed
  • 6.5” R-29 SIPs walls
  • 12.25” R-59 SIPs roof
  • 4” R-20 foam under 4” concrete slab-on-grade for excellent thermal mass
  • 5.5” foam (total) R-23.8 insulated concrete forms (ICF) perimeter stem-walls
  • Vinylek Boreal series triple-pane windows (U values between 0.14 and 0.16)
  • 1:1.6 aspect ratio floor plan, with long side facing south
  • Minimal east and west glazing

 

Bellingham Gentle Density DADU

Bellingham Gentle Density DADU

TC Legend Homes demolished an existing one-car garage and re-purposed the available space with a cozy, high-performance, 775 square foot, detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) that includes an attached single-car garage. The RE Store handled the structure demolition to maximize recycling opportunities and minimize waste.

The DADU was designed from the ground up to be net-positive-energy, meaning it will produce more energy on an annual basis than it requires. TC Legend Homes applied the same approach and many of the same building techniques to this DADU as it does to any of its other homes.

Key Features

  • A simple design to minimize exposed surface area

  • Orientation and window placement to optimize active and passive solar

  • Slab on grade with 4” under-slab insulation & Insulated concrete forms

  • Structural Insulated Panel construction (vice traditional framing) to reduce possibility of thermal bridging

  • Triple-pane windows

  • High-efficiency mini-split heat pump for heating & cooling and high-efficiency heat pump for water heating

  • HEPA High Efficiency Whole House Insulated Filtration System

  • 5.4kw photovoltaic solar system

  • Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and 5-Star Built Green Certified

  • Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is negative 16!  (A typical new home has a rating of + 62).

Bellingham Affordable Net-Positive Home

Bellingham Affordable Net-Positive Home

Built by the TC Legend Homes/Powerhouse Designs team. We design and build. With a standard palette of materials & details that have been chosen, tested & refined over many houses, there is no confusion for the crew. The draftsman, engineer, and crew are consistent through all our projects, so everyone has done this system before.

Key Features:

  • Positive Energy – produces enough electricity to also power an electric car.

  • Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPLUS, and 5-Star Built Green Certified.

  • Honorable Mention in the Affordable Category of the 2018 US Department of Energy Housing Innovation Awards.

  • The home is oriented for both passive & active solar performance by facing south, as a rectangle with the long side (26’) running from east to west. The home is outfitted with an 8.1kw photovoltaic system.

  • Energy envelope includes structural insulated panels (SIPs). The 6.5″ Neopor R29 SIPs panel walls are locally made in Washington. Designed & engineered to reduce cold bridging by minimizing structural lumber & maximizing use of foam splines to connect panels. Shell is air sealed with triple beads of mastic at all joints and panels additionally taped at all joints. RIM joist insulated with R30 spray-foam at floor systems. Perfect rectangle box adds simplicity to construction & reduces corners & thus cost & air leakage.

  • 4″ Extruded Polystyrene (EPS), a low VOC foam (R20), is used under-slab. The concrete slab-on-grade is exposed and is effectively a free finished-floor and a functioning thermal mass.

  • The heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is a Zehnder Comfo-air 200 which can scavenge 95% of the heat from the outgoing dirty air. Running through a class 4 filter (merv7/8) at between 29 and 118 cubic feet/ minute (cfm), the unit ventilates the whole house, extracting moist air from bathrooms/utility spaces, bringing fresh air into living spaces.

  • Energy Star appliances including a Geospring 50-gallon heat pump-powered hot water heater.

  • Stormwater from the roofs is infiltrated on-site using splash blocks below the gutter downspouts.

  • Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is negative 25!  (A typical new home has a rating of + 62.)

Ballard Net-Zero-Energy Home

Ballard Net-Zero-Energy Home

Owners: Eric Thomas and Alexandra Salmon

Designer: Zero-Energy Plans, LLC (zero-energyplans.com)

Builder: TC Legend Homes (tclegendhomes.com)

Site Address: 612 NW 60th St., Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

SPECS:

1,915 square feet, single-family, 2 stories, 3 bedrooms + work loft, 2 bathrooms, concrete slab foundation, radiant heat floors, Hardie plank siding.

GREEN FEATURES:

Structural Insulated Panel construction, air-to-water heat pump, 6kw solar electric (photovoltaic) system, triple-pane windows, passive solar design, rain garden, stained concrete floors, reclaimed fir floors, recycled fixtures, zero-VOC paint, low-waste engineering, low-energy LED and CFL lighting, capacity for additional solar panels to power an electric car 5,000 miles per year.

Leavenworth Passive Home

Leavenworth Passive Home

The hallmarks of a Passive House are super-high levels of insulation, a design that takes advantage of passive solar gain, and, as a result, has little need for heating beyond that provided by the sun, warm bodies, and appliances. Passive Houses also come with a list of requirements, like a heat recovery ventilator, a somewhat costly piece of equipment that recoups some of the energy that would normally be lost from circulating fresh air through the house.