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This house remains cost-effective even while achieving net-zero energy consumption by being extremely energy efficient. Two major strategies used to achieve this include insulation and passive solar design. The walls are clad with one inch rigid insulation on the outside, blown-in cellulose insulation on the inside, EPS insulation under the slab, and a foam roof. It’s also oriented so that the east and west exposure is limited, and there is a four foot overhang on the southern exposure. The added insulation and smart passive solar design reduce the energy load to about 25 percent of that of a standard home, allowing the solar array to remain small and affordable.

Indoor air quality was also a major focus throughout the design. The house is airtight, which helps control the air that comes in and out. To achieve 24-hour air circulation, the HVAC system pulls stale air out of the kitchen and bathrooms, puts it through an air exchanger that captures heat in the air, and swaps that air with fresh air from the outside that goes through a few filters. That fresh air is then redistributed to the living space. This isn’t just good for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities, says Trautman, it’s great for everyone. “It’s actually feels amazing just hanging out in the house, it feels so much better,” he says.

The rusted-metal clad desert modern house sports a fantastic entry courtyard that serves as a transition between the indoors and outdoors and an outdoor extension to the living room ideal for good weather. Polished concrete floors, doors that are full height, and movable partitions provide a low-maintenance, unique, minimalist and flexible space for the busy and ever evolving desert dweller. Vali Homes is building a second home right next door, which will be identical except for some improvements like even more insulation and possible radiant cooling under the floor slab. And then the company plans to do more infill housing in the Phoenix area, be it one or two homes or a small community of homes on several acres.

+ Vali Homes

Via Firefly Living