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Friday, February 18, 2011

Micro Homes: Zero House

From Specht Harpman Architects, an absolutely fantastic micro home: the zeroHouse! The zeroHouse was designed from the ground up to be a completely self-sufficient and comfortable home.

The zeroHouse was designed as a small, prefabricated house that can be shipped anywhere and quickly setup. It contains a complete kitchen, bathroom as well as all the necessary elements to support four adults. But the truly interesting feature of the zeroHouse is its ability to operate independently, without the need for any external utilities connections.

High-efficiency solar panels produce power and store it in an onboard bank of batteries. A rainwater collection system gathers and diverts water into a 2700 gallon tank. All plumbing fixtures are gravity-fed, which eliminates the need for pumps, that consume far too much power. Another interesting feature is the organic waste processing, which is performed in a special "digester unit", which is located beneath the house. It converts the waste into clean, dry compost that needs to be removed only twice a year and can then be used to improve the soil for agriculture around the home.

The zeroHouse is also fully climate-controlled, with a high-efficiency combined air-conditioning and heating system. The walls, roof, and floor are all insulated with closed-cell structural foam, and achieve a thermal rating of R58, which is pretty impressive.

A great feature of the zeroHouse is that it can be installed in places that would unsuitable for standard construction, including water up to ten feet deep, or on slopes of up to thirty-five degrees. By using a system of helical-anchor foundations that touch the ground at only four points, the zeroHouse requires no excavation.

Visit SpechtHarpman for additional information and complete specifications on the zeroHouse.

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