Buildings are designed for 100% solar space heat and domestic hot water. No boiler or conventional water heater is required. Solar heating incorporates energy storage to maintain comfort for ten consecutive cloudy days. A small wood stove, producing 25,000 btu/hr, and fired for only 8 hours per day, can extend this to 30 sunless days. Really.

 

Photovoltaic (solar) electric panels provide 100%+ of annual electricity use. Optional battery or generator back-up can accommodate “off-the-grid” installations.

 

This energy performance is achieved through site-specific adjustment of design parameters that include:

 

Insulated details
Window size, placement, and glass make-up
Number of solar panels
Thermal storage capacity

 

Detailed calculations reflect the anticipated occupant’s need for domestic hot water and the important meteorological variables of the location. These include:

 

Summer temperature and humidity (for cooling loads)
Winter temperature
Solar orientation
Solar radiation
Cloud cover

 

Systems design and component selection are based on thoughtful energy flow management and energy efficiency, taking care to make use of the stream of waste energy where possible, and to maximize the use of natural phenomena including sunshine, shade, diurnal temperature variations, wind, rain, humidity differential, etc. Each item incorporated into the construction is evaluated carefully for its contribution to the overall energy efficiency of the house as a whole. Each item is also selected with serious consideration of the environmental impact of its manufacture, delivery, and ultimate disposal.

 

See the links to the left on Active Design and Passive Design for more information.

 

The following elements are incorporated into the design of Randall Millennium Homes:

Precast foundation
Passive solar heat (south facing windows collect a portion of winter heat demand, while incorporating shading against summer heat build-up)
Precast hollow-core concrete plank deck “heat sink”
High-performance windows
Timber frame
Ground-source air conditioning
Solar hot water and space heating
Fiber cement siding
Metal roof
Heat recovery ventilator
Photovoltaic electric generation
Foundation insulation (R50+ with supplemental insulation)
Rainwater collection
No fossil fuel required