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10.02.2014
Energy-efficient design and careful material selection in this Habitat for Humanity home earned it the highest rating—Platinum—from the U.S. Although the home’s design and construction was led by Drury University architecture students, students from all majors participated in building the Habitat home.
An insulated matrix below the tubing thermally isolates the heating system from the ground and helps protect the tubing during the concrete pour. Hydronic tubing embedded in the first floor provides supplemental space heating when passive solar gain isn’t enough. The Watts Radiant HydroNex panel is the hydronic system’s temperature mixing and control station. This Habitat for Humanity home presents a model of an affordable, modern, and energy-efficient dwelling. BeginnerMany of us recall when Habitat for Humanity began to make headlines more than 30 years ago, winning President Jimmy Carter’s support—he not only endorsed the organization but helped out with a hammer in hand.
Judging from its impressive number of new homeowners, Habitat has made huge strides in improving people’s quality of life.
On a stretch of land just north of Springfield, Missouri, Habitat for Humanity’s Legacy Trails housing development is offering a new paradigm of subdivision design. The newest home in the neighborhood—one designed and built primarily by Drury University architecture students—is a standout project that won recognition as the first-ever Habitat project attaining a LEED Platinum rating, a certification given for homes that achieve environmentally responsible and sustainable standards established by the U.S.
As design, material, and equipment decisions were made, the students rigorously researched the most sustainable—yet affordable—products and approaches. The home takes its shape from the sun, wind, and site, as well as from the restrictions and requirements of a Habitat four-bedroom home; it also has a nod to the typical building style in the area. Strategic placement of operable windows low on the south walls of the living, kitchen, and dining rooms allows air to enter from prevailing winds. To lessen heat gain in the summer while still capturing the solar heat in the winter, the roof extends past the edge of the southern wall to shade the wall and windows from the high summer sun. A 30-tube evacuated-tube solar hot water system provides about 70% of the energy needed for water heating.
The rooftop-mounted collectors feed the heated propylene glycol antifreeze mix into an 80-gallon, twin-exchanger hot water tank.
To help meet USGBC LEED Platinum certification, the home also has dual-pane windows with low-e coatings, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow showerheads and faucets. Going through the LEED certification process, working directly with Guaranteed Watt Saver, the LEED for Homes provider, and working with Habitat for Humanity were great learning experiences for Sooter’s students. Working with Habitat for Humanity gave students the experience of investing in their community. Designing and building a sustainable home was born out of Drury’s yearly convocation lecture series during the 2004-2005 theme year on sustainability. This home was a Drury community project, where faculty, staff, and entire classes from various curricula volunteered their efforts.
Anna Codutti, director of development for Habitat for Humanity Springfield, looks forward to the home being a model for affordable green-builds nationwide. Manheim, Pennsylvania-based John Vastyan (717-664-0535) is a journalist and communications professional focusing on the plumbing, mechanical, radiant heat, and geothermal industries.
Traci Sooter, AIA, LEED AP, is an associate professor of architecture in the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings, Tenth Edition by Benjamin Stein, John S. Ankeny Row is a solar-powered, energy-efficient, net-zero retirement community in the heart of Portland, Oregon.
As a volunteer for Habitat myself, and have tried in the past to include renewable energy systems into builds, with extra costs being the reason for not including such technologies, it is good to see other chapters begin to realize the benefits of such systems to reduce the new homeowners cost of operation.
Silicon Solar is looking to partner with online and offline solar product resellers.Interested? All systems have been tested under the highest quality standards to ensure the longevity of your solar heating system. If you are unsure of where to start or if you require guidance with your solar hot water heating system please feel free to contact a solar hot water specialist at 1-800-786-0329. Each system is designed to produce 40 gallons of domestic hot water per day in a northern climate. Note: It is recommended that a certified SunMaxx Dealer is contacted prior to installation or a professional hot water installer. If you have any questions or if you need assistance with your heating system please call us.


If you are looking to utilize a solar hot water heating system for space heating needs please contact our solar hot water sales department so we may provide you with an accurate assessment of your heating requirements. If you are confident with your solar hot water heating requirements you can place your order online by clicking on the add to cart button which is located above. Silicon Solar Inc ships products internationally please ask your sales representative for a shipping rate to your location. Silicon Solar is, and always will be, a family owned and operated solar company dedicated to providing the highest quality solar powered products which have completed our rigorous quality inspection. Search our online catalog for hundreds of solar lights, solar fountains and many other products, including solar cells and solar panels. Just enter your email address to the right and you'll get special offers,new products and great information emailed right to you from Silicon Solar. We use evacuated-tube collectors, since it is more efficient and maintainable over the flat-plate collector.
One of the tubes can easily be exchanged without the need of replacing a whole plate or shutting down the system.
An evacuated tube consists of two glass tubes made from extremely strong borosilicate glass. The outer tube is transparent allowing greater than 90% of the light rays to pass through with minimal reflection.
The end of the heat pipe is inserted into the manifold where the heat exchange into the circulating fluid (water or glycol solution) takes place. In contrast to active systems are passive systems; those rely on gravity and the tendency for water to naturally circulate as it is heated. This Domestic Solar Hot Water and 10kW Grid Tie  Solar PV System installation is located in the beautiful Fort Lauderdale, FL area. The roofs were exposed to shading issues from both vegetation and structures so individual Enphase M215 micro-inverters were installed  on each of the 40 Kyocera 250 Watt Solar PV Panels. As shown on the images of the installation in progress, the micro-inverters were mounted on the Renusol Racking Mounting System (designed to meet the Broward County Wind Requirements) and are networked together with the Enphase Envoy Gateway which allows all 40 of the solar panels to be viewed remotely online by  the owner, our service team and the public (owner elected this feature). The Enphase Enlighten website, which the Envoy gateway connects to,  shows each solar panel’s production, in addition,  the system’s live energy production and captured historical information. This Domestic Solar Hot Water and 10kW Solar PV System installation is going to save our customer hundreds!
Your use of this website constitutes acknowledgement and acceptance of our Terms & Conditions. An air vent is attached to the high point of the solar thermal collect to allow for purging air in the system initially. As stated earlier this is an active system so a small circulator pump is required to move the water through the solar hot water system. Another option is a thermostatically controlled AC pump in combination with a snap-switch which will cycle the water in your system to ensure that your water doesn’t get dangerously hot. Since its inception in 1976, the nonprofit organization has built more than 250,000 houses, sheltering more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities worldwide. Now, the organization is beginning to build homes that are more energy efficient to make a long-term difference for the occupants and the environment.
The focus has turned to establishing an environmentally friendlier neighborhood, with energy-efficient homes, native-plant landscaping, curbless streets to limit storm-water runoff, and bioretention swales that double as walking paths. Sooter says that Habitat “builds in a somewhat sustainable manner, simply by constructing efficient, small-footprint homes.” But she was sure that her students could push the envelope further. From decisions for the form of the building at the design level to material and equipment selection, all aspects of the home’s construction were researched and considered by the team. Cost is a big factor in a Habitat home, since affordability is tantamount to its mission of offering home-ownership to those who couldn’t typically afford it.
Primary to the design process was conducting a site analysis—Sooter’s class researched prevailing winds and sun angles for the area and performed a site analysis at Legacy Trails. This orientation maximizes solar heat gain in winter and also captures prevailing winds in the spring and fall, aiding in passive cooling.
An electric boiler and an electric water heater provide backup for the floor heating and domestic water heating.
The glycol solution circulates in the superinsulated tank’s lowest coil, exchanging heat with the large volume of contained domestic hot water (DHW). If there’s abundant winter sunshine and the system produces all the DHW necessary, the system will assist with space heating. They gained practical, hands-on experience in resolving their design at full scale, plus they learned how the LEED certification process applies directly to a home and influences design decisions.


Members of the committee thought it would be great to create a sustainable project in which the entire campus could participate.
Well, it is constantly admired by people visiting the neighbors, or just passing by,” she says.
Formerly a general contractor in Springfield, Traci holds master degrees in architecture and construction management from Washington University in St.
It seems that the designers had their stuff together when designing this house and that everything was well thought out and calculated. Each system includes the primary components required when installing a solar hot water heating system. The system will produce more hot water in warmer climates which receive additional insolation. If you are interested in having your solar hot water heating system installed for you please call us today to schedule a site survey in your area. Using this figure you can calculate which size prepackage system is suitable for your heating requirements.
Typically we are able to offset between 40-80% of your home heating needs with a payback period of less than 8 years. All orders are reviewed by our solar hot water heating department and customers are contacted to ensure that you have ordered the correct merchandise for your application. We also manufacture a full line of solar powered products right here in our production facility; enabling us offer faster delivery and priority technical support. We also manufacture custom solar kits upon request for professors and educational programs. We use a very well-insulated water tank with coil of copper tubing inside to heat up the water around it. Active systems rely on pumps to move the liquid between the collectors and the storage tank(s). The Enphase M215 micro-inverters allow each panel to operate independently which is  ideal for installations with shading issues. One of the first strategies to make this an affordable, LEED Platinum home was to use passive systems and design to help heat and cool the home. This allows the homeowner to keep the space cool longer before resorting to mechanical ventilation or cooling methods.
This approach allows the winter sun to hit the thermal mass of the concrete floor to collect and store radiant heat.
In turn, the DHW shares its heat with the uppermost coil, which supplies the home’s two radiant heat zones. Data from first few months of the home’s occupation show that the solar heating system can provide the majority of the domestic hot water—used for clothes washing, dishes, showers, and baths.
This placed the students side-by-side with the homeowner, building friendships while building a home for a family. And, in fact, they did—the construction launched with more than 300 first-year students prefabricating the exterior walls of the house. Each group was given an introduction to the home’s sustainable design principles, along with how they could make changes in their personal lives toward environmentally friendly practices.
It is our goal to keep our product cost low in order to ensure that we are making renewable energy products more affordable to the community. If you are interested in signing up to be a dealer please do not hesitate to fill out our online dealer application form. The fifth-year Drury architecture students turned to their Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings text (see Access) to calculate solar angles and optimum square footage of glazing for the south facade of the home and its location. Spring is my favorite time of year—not just because of weather, but the fact that the house has so many windows.
Heating systems manufacturer Watts Radiant then calculated loads to design the radiant heating system. Throughout the day all of the cold water within the Thermosyphon System will be heated in this way.



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