The Van Geet Off-Grid Home: An Integrated ...


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The Van Geet home near Denver, Colorado, exemplifies the effectiveness of coupling energy conservation measures with renewable energy utilization in a modern residence. The remote location, with no utility connections available, and the owner’s interest in renewable energy motivated the ambitious design. This design attracted the interest of the Building America (BA) program and was studied as a research home. As a result, the BA program provided energy engineering throughout the design, construction, and performance evaluation phases. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) also recognized the success of this project by awarding it an ASHRAE Technology Award in 2001. This project’s significance is the successful integration of numerous energy-conservation and renewable-energy features into a beautiful, comfortable, and very energy-efficient off-grid home. The integrated design of the 3,176-ft2 house includes a tight, well-insulated thermal envelope, passive solar heating (direct gain and Trombe wall), a wood-burning stove, natural ventilation cooling, active solar water heating, high-efficiency electrical appliances, and a photovoltaic (PV) hybrid electrical power system. Some lifestyle adjustments by the energy-conscious occupants also contribute to the energy savings. This report analyzes the effects of occupant behavior separately from the effects of the building design. Liquefied propane gas (LPG) is used for cooking, clothes drying, backup space heating, backup water heating, and backup electrical generation.

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Last updated September 22, 2016
Created September 22, 2016
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