Hacienda Ja Ja
The home is designed to avoid solar thermal gain during the summer and capture passive solar heating during the winter. These features, along with the use of expanding foam insulation, minimize the need for mechanical heating and cooling. The carbon footprint is further reduced with the use of a 7 kilowatt-hour photovoltaic array to produce electricity and solar thermal panels to provide domestic hot water. The design relies on a variety of low embodied energy and recycled building materials such as locally harvested, naturally durable cedar siding, cork flooring, and fly-ash concrete. Rainwater is collected from the roofs and stored in an underground tank. During most of the year, captured rainwater will supplant domestic water for landscape irrigation needs.
The solar thermal water heating system is particularly innovative in that it is a newer, evacuated tube technology that is not currently used in many residential projects. The hard water of our region does not affect the evacuated tube system; therefore, it is a durable, long-term solution for heating water and has a relatively quick payback when compared to the solar photovoltaics. The system is backed up with an electric hot water heater.
Reducing the energy consumption required to occupy the residence by employing both passive and active strategies was a major project goal. To verify that these goals were being met, the clients chose to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes Platinum Certification, the highest level of certification provided by the U.S. Green Building Council.