Deltec 360° Design Studio Presents

Net Zero Dream

Net zero off grid prefab home

As a bat biologist who got his start exploring caves in college, Chris has always had a deep-seated respect for the environment, and would often camp in state parks during research excursions and stay in yurts.

When it came time to build on his property in central Pennsylvania, energy efficiency and sustainability were top priorities, and he knew he wanted a round home.  A factory visit sealed the deal: “Deltec has people who are beautifully geeky about energy efficiency. They really believe in and love their product, and that’s true of their customers, too,” says Chris. For him, Deltec Homes offered the ideal balance between building expertise and freedom, taking care of design questions, and offering practical guidance while allowing him to have a hands-on role and act as his own general contractor.

Chris cut wood from his own property for the ceiling, trim, and cabinetry—drying, forming, and finishing the material on site. The finished residence also benefits from a three-foot overhang, a net-zero roof truss, a basement and foundation made from insulated concrete forms (ICFs), and staggered stud walls. With a 10-inch thick wall for more than double typical levels of insulation and a gap in the stud framing to break heat conduction through the studs, “you get a wall that’s energy-efficient, quiet, and solid,” explains Chris. “It evokes the feeling of solidity and gives you big windows.” A 14kW solar array powers the home and an onsite workshop.  The home is Energy Star Certified, with a (pre-solar) HERS score of 38.


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