Blogging Natural Home: A Chicago Carbon Neutral House

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A renewable energy micro grid makes it possible for this home to be carbon neutral. Natural Home features a new construction house in Lincoln Park that is presented as the city’s first all renewable power home. Its system is hybrid geothermal and solar and was built by David Dwyer of American Renewable Energy.

The energy system provides the large home with forced air space heating, radiant in-floor heating, air conditioning and hot water.

Some details on the geothermal energy system, GeoExchange, from the article:

  • The system takes advantage of the fact that below the surface, the earth’s temperature stays relatively constant year round, between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • By circulating water or a refrigerant through pipes which are drilled down deep in the ground, the systems pull enough heat for the earth to keep a home warm even in freezing temperatures. In summer, the liquid flow is reversed to cool.
  • The process uses only a quarter to half the electricity required by conventional heating and cooling systems.
  • The EPA estimates that heating costs can be cut by 30 -70% with GeoExchange. Cooling costs can be reduced by 20 – 50%.

    The home also has a six panel solar set-up which provides hot water and radiant heat to the basement, which augments the geothermal system.

    Lots more info can be found in the July/August Natural Home and on the American Renewable site.

    (Photo: Barry Rustin/Natural Home via American

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