Completion date


Homeowners of this building and we live here full time. Two adults. At home much of the time. Retired but still active.
When we built this home in 1996 there were also 2 active teenagers living in the home.

Days per year Building is fully occupied:


We moved into our all electric new home June 11, 1996. It is the home to which in September 2006 we applied 100% sustainably produced power that we began purchasing monthly from North Carolina Green Power through our local electric utility. With that ongoing purchase arrangement of the necessary amount of power we became a Net Zero Energy Home. We have continued purchasing power while adding on-site 3.5 KW PV in 2011 and 3.4 KW PV in 2015. In 2015 we did reduce that amount of power we are purchasing each month. We still purchase enough extra NC Green Power to maintain our position as a Net Zero Energy Home.

Type of Construction New
Number of buildings 1
Floor area of each building 1,792
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2.0
Stories 1
Conditioned Building Volume 15,680 cu ft
Conditioned Floor Area 1,792 sq ft

Location and Climate Details

single family residence - HUD Code doublewide

793 Elmer Keck Road
Pittsboro, NC 27312
United States
Location Type Rural
Climate Region Zone 4
Köppen Climate Type Cfb
Lat. / Long. POINT (-79.290576 35.711467)
Elevation 400 ft
Solar Insolation 5 kWh/m2/day
Annual CDD and Base Temp 1787 | 65 deg F
Annual HDD and Base Temp 3518 | 65 deg F


Site conditions:
previously undeveloped land
Site description:

The 16 acre site is largely mixed timber with wild brush and undergrowth But it does have two open areas near each other totaling about 3 acres that are located toward the back of the property. A driveway with partial gravel makes its way from the county gravel road to the open areas where our home is located. Flowing across the middle of the property are two separate small spring fed streams that flow year round. The front and back areas of the property are of a higher elevation than the middle area with the two streams. The driveway already had a causeway built across the wetlands with a culvert for each stream. A larger stream forms the eastern boundary of the property. Wonderful...

Materials and Design Strategy


This home was factory built 100 miles away with no notion with regard to sustainable construction methods or materials.
Being factory built the company does work to efficiently construct and deliver the unit and the reduction of waste is in their financial interest.

Special architectural measures:

The long axis of the home was oriented east/west. The east and west walls of the home have only one window each. The long south side of the home has windows that receive full sun in winter and some shading in summer. The walls were upgraded to 2x6 lumber. The R-values were above common practice at the time of construction. The design was intentionally simple so that the workers would be much less prone to make the multiple air barrier and thermal barrier mistakes that we find in most buildings. Thus the two barriers work together and are continuous throughout the whole structure. The traditional moisture issues of crawl space homes in the south was addressed through the use of a properly closed crawl space which delivers durability, comfort, health, and efficiency benefits. The result is a home that in life achieves a higher percentage of its potential as listed on its design papers. The mechanical equipment [heat pump and ERV] are well designed and installed. Quiet, wonderful, inexpensive comfort.

LCA Description:

No Life-Cycle Analysis was used. We designed our home to be inexpensive to build, equip, and operate and to do so while meeting our high standards for health, comfort, and durability. It is the minimum home that anyone would want to build!

Indoor Environment Description:
No carpet was included. Whole house, energy recovery ventilation [protected with filtration] was included and operated at the air flow rate necessary to dilute the odors from out gassing chemicals from the standard construction materials used. The design criteria for air flow was that it had to be adequate such that when entering the home one did not smell the new building chemicals. This rate began at .62 air changes per hour, later slowed to .42 air changes per hour, and now operates at .25 air changes per hour. Plus bath and kitchen exhaust, dryer, and natural air exchange through this tight home with balanced ventilation. Air cleaning for the heat pump air flow is provided by pleated filters at the two filter return grilles plus a MERV 10 filter located at the heat pump air handler. Two 5 micron sediment water filters set in tandem and located between the water pump and the pressure tank keep the whole supply plumbing system free from debris. Two low level carbon monoxide monitors are located in the home.