The Wadsworth Residence – A Passive Solar Home with Solar Thermal Heat

Identifiable by its classic shape, this “Passive Solar” home uses modern techniques and materials to accomplish the task of heating and cooling for about a dollar a day.  Sloping ceilings reflect the southern light into every room in the house. SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) make up the walls and roof structure and triple pane, High Solar Heat Gain windows allow the sun’s heat to be absorbed into the 4” thick acid stained concrete floor. 6” & 8” polystyrene foam surround the foundation and continue under the slab. With no natural gas at this location, we opted to install a Solar Thermal hot water heating system, which accounts for nearly 80% of their needs.  Radiant floors heat both the 1st floor and lower level. The large storage tanks hold enough hot water for days of use when the sun isn’t shining. In the summer, the radiant floor tank is flushed with well water to cool the house naturally with 50 degree water from the ground.

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