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15
Dec

Net Zero Energy Home, Westport, CT

Net Zero Energy Home, Westport, CT I had the privilege to work on a Net Zero Energy home in Westport from 2015-2016 The house was completed in the summer of 2016. The 6000 SF house was designed by the owner. My firm, Rountree Architects helped  fine tune the design and was responsible for all the construction and engineering drawings. The contractor was BPC Green Builders of Wilton, CT The house…

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14
Sep

Solar Trackers

I have always been fascinated with solar PV tracking systems. Panels are mounted on a pole and are usually “dual-axis”, meaning they are able to track the sun through-out the day with the panels always facing 90 degrees to the sun. The newer system use local weather data and GPS to automatically make seasonal adjustments. The companies that sell these claim that by tracking they get 40% more power out-put…

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01
Sep

Solar Garage in Westport

In the summer of 2013, I designed a new 1 car garage to replace a dilapidated garage that was about to collapse. I wanted the design to be compatible with our 1910 farmhouse, which we had renovated in 2008. I also wanted to experiment with a "building integrated photovoltaic system" (BIPV) using the Sanyo 200 watt bi-facial panels. The panels use a "glass-on-glass" PV laminate with the cells  spaced slightly…

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30
Aug

“Deep Energy Retrofit” in Westport

I worked on that is nearing completion in Westport, CT.It is a typical builder’s colonial built in the 1970’s. My clients, both from Europe, bought the house with the intention of transforming it into a style more suited to their tastes. We removed the siding and double hung windows and added casement windows and new siding which was a combination of “Hardieplank” clapboard (top) and “Boral” vertical shiplap (bottom). Both…

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26
Aug

Block Island Wind Turbines

I was in Block Island last weekend and was amazed to see 5 enormous wind turbines 3 mile off the shore. They were all stationary and I learned from a local fellow that they had just been completed and had yet to be tested. I also learned that when they begin spinning, they will be able to supply 100% of the electricity the island uses and will replace the diesel…

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