Net Zero House in Ashland, MA

In early December, I learned about and subsequently photographed a Net Zero House in Ashland, MA built by Mike Kane.  But quickly learned he actually has built 2 of them. The first was the one I photographed.

The house has all black solar panels gracing the entire South roof, which produce 9.75 kwh, meeting most of its energy needs.

The house has9” double studded walls with a 2” thermal break in between,  9” of 0.8# Demilac open cell foam insulation R-44...

... and 2” of spray foam topped with 18”of cellulose R-70 in the attic floor.

He even built a 10″ hydraulic assisted and gasketed R-45 attic access cover.

The windows are all triple glazed, Low E Argon filled Mathews Brothers vinyl windows – U.22 (a future blog post will be my lunch with Frank Danna the regional sales representative). The house is so efficient and tight it does require air replenishment equipment by an ERV, energy recovery ventilator.

To heat and cool the house he has incorporated Mitsubishi “split” heat pumps.

While heat pumps use electricity, they have a three x efficiency (for every BTU you put in, it puts out three BTU’s).

One of the very cool architectural details I liked is the beveled window treatment instead of boxy deep hole that are normally visually associated with nine inch thick walls. 

One other green initiative he incorporated was sealing the house with a “spray on” house wrap by EniroDri, an alternative to Typar and Tyvek. The advantage is that it seals the cracks plus keeps its flexibility so when you add the siding it seals around the nails/screws used to attach the siding/windows/trim. Shown here in black on the back wall.

Last the house also incorporates all LED or CFL lighting.

All the while offering a beautiful, light filled living spaces.

I look forward to incorporate some of these initiatives into my next building project. Here is link to see the rest of the project:

Learn more about the house here: