McKernan Net Zero

The requirements for this project were a dwelling for a family of four, with a suite for aging parents, and a third basement suite with its own sunken entry for a relative. Beyond this, the house is designed to be 'net zero' carbon producing. In layout, the family space occupies basement and main levels in the south half of the house, and all of the second floor. There are office spaces on both floors at the front connected by a circular stair. The master bedroom has windows capturing morning solar heat and light as does the parent suite living area below. The walls are 12" thick, the roof is R-100, and windows are triple and quad glazed fibreglass frame. Working with consultants, the owners decided on a co-generation plant which burns natural gas to generate electricity and uses the waste heat to warm water for radiant heating throughout the house. All three suites have heat recovery ventilators. Floors are coloured heated concrete, and cabinets are low VOC straw panel construction. The exterior is acrylic finish over cement stucco, and white steel roofing reflects heat away in summer. The house has been plumbed to use rain water, stored in a 5000L cistern set in the basement, to flush toilets and water the landscaping. Built by third party.

Completed in 2010.

The future addition of solar photo-voltaic panels will complete the 'net zero'.