America's Oldest Self Sustaining Home: The Mission Zero House

When Matt and Kelly purchased their three bedroom, two bathroom 2,500 square foot home in Ann Arbor, they had a goal in mind. They dreamed of renovating the over 100-year-old home in the greenest way possible to create a self sustaining structure that would produce as much or more energy than the occupants consume.

By 2010, through much research and hard work, their dream had become a reality and the public began to take notice. The Atlantic describes the home as "sustainable perfection" and USA Today deemed it one of the top seven green homes in the nation.

Today, the family continues to share their story with the world with regular updates to their website, where they post how-to videos, detailed instructions and tips on renovating and energy reduction.

'We are now fulfilling our family's goal to restore a home that creates its own energy, creates zero waste and will be a restorative part of our community."

While full instructions are available on their site, they also include a three step break down of the process.

1. Lose Less: light with LEDs, use motion sensors, and restore old windows

2. Use Less: use geothermal heating and cooling, add Smart thermostat and controls and install energy recovery ventilators, reuse!

3. Produce: install a solar panel

While this might seem overwhelming, the couple breaks down the steps on their website, showing that it is possible to reduce or eliminate a home's impact on the environment.

Read More: Mission Zero House

(Images: Mission Zero House)

10 Comments