• Tech Tech

Family's home produces more energy than it uses and offers flexible lifestyle — here's how they do it

"The resulting home is proof that families do not need to compromise on style, space, or comfort."

"The resulting home is proof that families do not need to compromise on style, space, or comfort."

Photo Credit: ZeroEnergy Design

A family home in Massachusetts has gone above and beyond to maximize the benefits of energy-efficient design principles, and the result is a stylish and flexible space that generates more power than it needs.

ZeroEnergy Design, a Boston-based firm, explained on its website how it partnered with the owners to build a weather-resilient home with plenty of natural light, clean lines, and storage. 

The Lincoln Farmhouse has an air source heat pump, a heat pump hot water heater, an induction stove, and solar panels — features that contribute to cleaner air and save homeowners hundreds of dollars on electrical costs annually. 

All appliances, like washers and dryers, are by Energy Star, which notes that American families and businesses have saved more than $500 billion with its energy-efficient solutions since 1992.   

Products with Energy Star's seal of approval also release less harmful pollution that has raised global temperatures, something that has been linked to an increase in severe weather events and food insecurity.

All in all, the farmhouse uses 70% less energy than a standard home and produces 67% more energy that it actually requires, with part of the surplus intended to eventually charge an electric vehicle

Meanwhile, the "super-insulated airtight envelope" helps to keep the family warm in the event of a dangerous winter storm. Triple-glazed windows add to the airtightness of the home. ZeroEnergy Design notes that it would take several days for the inside temperature to drop to 60 degrees Fahrenheit if something occurred to disrupt the heat source. 

"The building exceeds structural requirements for snow and wind loads, plus greatly exceeds standard construction for long-term durability planning," the firm wrote

The inside of the Lincoln Farmhouse is impressive, but the owners didn't stop there. 

On the outside, they removed invasive species, instead planting fruit trees and prepping the land for vegetable gardening — a practice known to benefit physical and mental health, as well as people's wallets. An investment of $70 can produce roughly $600 in fresh produce annually. 

In the future, the family also intends to capture rainwater for their garden, with the mindful consumption of resources expected to lower bills even further.

"The resulting home is proof that families do not need to compromise on style, space, or comfort in a highly energy-efficient and healthy home," ZeroEnergy Design wrote

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