Spotlight

Net Zero Eco-House (Monticello, IL)

Editor’s Note:
Architect Ryan Reber describes an elegant, high performance home under construction in central Illinois. Build Equinox is fortunate to be part of many wonderful home projects throughout North America. We will bring you more articles spotlighting these projects so that you can see what others are doing. Beautiful, healthy and sustainable homes are rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Enjoy!

Net Zero Eco-House located outside Monticello, Illinois
by Ryan Reber

Design by:
Ryan Reber | Architect
ryan@ryanreberarchitect.com
www.ryanreberarchitect.com
Urbana, Illinois

Construction by:
Hans Schacht
MKT Custom Homes
mktcustomhomes@gmail.com
Mansfield, Illinois

Sited on an existing organic farm in a bucolic landscape overlooking a lake, this compact eco-house currently under construction contains kitchen, living, sleeping, and bath/mechanical spaces in just 880 square feet. The owner wanted an open plan 'tiny house' concept with the goal of being net-zero, and as such, special attention needed to be taken in building orientation, construction detailing, and mechanical design.

Mechanical systems integration was a major driving factor from the onset of the design process. A mechanical soffit with air ducting and electrical service runs down the central spine of the building with built in cabinetry and storage underneath, dividing the house between a vaulted great room and a low sloped service wing. Super insulated double stud wall construction provides for a tight building envelope heated and cooled by an electric heat pump powered by the solar array located on the attached garage roof. Air circulation and fresh air requirements are provided by the CERV advanced energy recovery ventilator.

Cooking, eating, living, and sleeping are combined in the spacious vaulted shed form. Wide overhangs and passive design strategies prevent the sun from entering the space during the summer months, but allow for passive solar heating during the fall and winter with the finished concrete slab floor serving as a thermal mass for the house. An efficient floating wood stove provides additional heat by using dead wood from the surrounding forested areas as fuel. A large window wall oriented to the south and west frames views of the lake, and leads out to a wraparound deck. Clerestory windows on the high side of the main living space allow natural light and reduce the need for artificial lighting. The low sloped north portion of the house contains porch and entry space, bathrooms, and the mechanical – the Green Machine.

Exterior materials are low maintenance metal siding, a metal standing seam roof, and a natural cedar rainscreen on the protected front and back porches.

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May 22, 2017 Events – Economical Net Zero Design Webinar (Video+PDF) 20170522
May 22, 2017 Featured Article – Styrax Japonicus 20170522
April 28, 2017 Events – CERV Smart Ventilator Webinar (June. 21, 2017) 20170428
April 28, 2017 Events – 7 Steps for Designing an Economical Net Zero Home (May 25) 20170428
April 28, 2017 Featured Article – Engineering Net Zero Homes 20170428
March 20, 2017 Featured Article – Build Equinox Zero Plus Facility 20170320
March 3, 2017 Events – CERV Smart Ventilator Webinar (Mar. 22, 2017) 20170303
February 14, 2017 Featured Article – February Flu 20170214
January 20, 2017 Events – HRV, ERV and Smart Vent Systems, Free CEU Webinar (Feb 15) 20170120
January 20, 2017 Events – NESEA IAQ Metrics Presentation (Mar 9, Boston, MA) 20170120
January 19, 2017 Featured Article – The Perfect Dust Storm 20170119
January 12, 2017 Events – Efficiency Vermont Better Buildings by Design Conference (Feb 1-2) 20170112
January 12, 2017 Events – CERV Smart Ventilator Webinar (Jan. 25, 2017) 20170112
December 26, 2016 Featured Article – Happy Holidays from Build Equinox! 20161226
November 29, 2016 Events – New IAQ Metrics Webinar (December 8th, 2016) 20161129
November 29, 2016 Featured Article – Geo-Boost 20161129
November 29, 2016 Spotlight – This Old Passive House 20161129
November 29, 2016 Review – House Music 20161129
October 28, 2016 Featured Article – Comparing ERV, HRV, and CERV 20161028
October 28, 2016 Events – CERV Smart Ventilation: Beyond HRV and ERV Systems Webinar (November 15th, 2016) 20161028
October 28, 2016 Spotlight – Net Zero Eco-House (Monticello, IL) 20161028
October 28, 2016 Spotlight – Forty Under 40 20161028
September 28, 2016 Events – Free CEU Webinar (Oct 5th): Why are new Indoor Air Quality metrics needed? 20160928
September 28, 2016 Events – CERV Smart Ventilator Webinar 20160928
September 28, 2016 Review – 2016 North American Passive House Conference 20160928
September 28, 2016 Featured Article – New CERV-ICE IAQ Analytics Released! 20160928
September 28, 2016 Spotlight – CERVs in Passive Homes, pt. 2 20160928
September 15, 2016 Events – CERV Smart Ventilator Webinar (Sep. 15, 2016) 20160915
August 25, 2016 Events – New IAQ Metrics Webinar (August 25, 2016) 20160825
August 18, 2016 Featured Article – Understanding the House as a System 20160818
August 18, 2016 Spotlight – CERVs in Passive Homes 20160818
August 18, 2016 Review – “What is IAQ?”, P. Ole Fanger 20160818
August 18, 2016 Tech – CERV CO2/VOC Library 20160818
July 19, 2016 Events – September North American Passive House Conference 20160719
July 18, 2016 News – CERV Website 20160718
July 18, 2016 Featured Article – VERMOD CERV Report Released 20160718
July 18, 2016 Review – LBNL report: “Houses are Dumb Without Smart Ventilation” 20160718
July 18, 2016 Spotlight – Professor P. Ole Fanger (1934-2006); IAQ and Comfort Pioneer 20160718
July 18, 2016 Tech Note – Airflow Calculation for Ventilation Systems 20160718
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