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The anatomy of a green house -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The anatomy of a green house

Several green features combine to create a yearly net-zero energy bill for this Habitat house in Denver, Colorado.


1. The building envelope is super-insulated with double stud wall construction (overall wall thickness is 1 foot) and fiberglass insulation (R-40 walls, R-60 ceiling, R-30 floor).

Deciduous trees will grow to shade the house during warm months.

The solar collectors on the roof not only provide electrical power but also heat water. A high-efficiency tankless water heater supplies back-up hot water.

Roof overhangs are extended to shade windows from the high summer sun while still allowing lower, winter light inside.

Southern facing windows are glazed to allow heat gain during the winter, while northern, eastern and western windows are glazed to resist heat gain.

Light-colored roofing shingles and increased attic ventilation reduce attic overheating.