A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

We designed and built an Energy Star certified house in southern NH.

There isn’t much new going on with the house, but we do post the latest developments on the house.


It is primarily heated by passive solar gain from the south facing windows, and hot water panels on the roof which heat 2 feet of sand beneath the house and the radiant flooring.

Radiant pipes in the foundation
Radiant heating under the house

The secondary heat if from a wood stove. We use less than a third of a chord of wood per winter. The house received a HERS index of 35.

For extra fun, we set up temperature monitoring on many components in the house. A lightning storm took out our first sensors. We are now on our third generation using a combination of one wire and zwave sensors.

After 8 years, the temperature sensors in the hot water panels failed. It took us a bit of ingenuity to get onto the roof and replace them.


PV panel installation complete.

Since we built the house, we have added on solar PV panels. Our first year we were net zero. The second year we just missed.


Pileated woodpecker

Most of the yard is native plants and wildflowers. So we see lots of wild birds in the morning. 2016 visitors. 2018 visitors.


In 2019 we built a hangar for our airplanes.