Casa Aquila, Alliance Green Builder, off-grid house, San Diego, solar-powered house, Passive House, solar power, wind turbine, wind energy, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery ventilation, LEED Platinum certification, green architecture

The project is located on a hilltop in Ramona, California, where temperatures are sometimes below freezing in the winter and often in excess of 100-degrees in the summer. This desert-like climate called for a solution that would include high insulation and an air-tight envelope. A heat recovery ventilation system provides optimal indoor air quality and maintains thermal efficiency.

Casa Aquila, Alliance Green Builder, off-grid house, San Diego, solar-powered house, Passive House, solar power, wind turbine, wind energy, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery ventilation, LEED Platinum certification, green architecture

Related: Off-Grid Vacation Home In California’s Gold Country

The most impressive aspect of the home is the sophisticated energy system, which is expected to eventually take the home off-grid. Currently, the house generates renewable energy and runs off a battery system, utilizing the grid only for back-up energy. Its prominent location is one of the best sites in San Diego County for harvesting wind-generated energy. A 2.3 kW, 17-foot high wind turbine was installed on a hill just above the home and is expected to generate energy almost every day in a year for a minimum of 12 hours a day. Large dual-axis trackers outfitted with 24 solar panels are expected to produce the bulk of the energy produced on site-around 44,000 kWh per year.

Casa Aquila, Alliance Green Builder, off-grid house, San Diego, solar-powered house, Passive House, solar power, wind turbine, wind energy, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery ventilation, LEED Platinum certification, green architecture

Related: 6 Solar-Powered Homes to Watch at the Solar Decathlon 2013 Competition in Irvine, CA

Inside the house, various energy-efficient appliances such as an induction cooktop and a heat pump dryer ensure a lower than average energy consumption. High-efficacy LED lighting is used throughout, with several control and monitoring systems providing data for energy use and generation, as well as water resource levels and water consumption.

+ Alliance Green Builder

+ Casa Aquila

Photos via KNB Associates