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"Solar house shines light on Oregon’s Painted Hills"

"Solar house shines light on Oregon’s Painted Hills"

The solar-powered ranger home at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is the first net-zero home in the National Park Service, and part of a larger effort to make the Painted Hills unit carbon neutral.

By Lindsey O'Brien, DJC Oregon

>>> Click here to read the original article

A small house tucked near the base of the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon is producing more energy than it consumes and winning national recognition.

The solar-powered ranger home at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is the first net-zero home in the National Park Service, and part of a larger effort to make the Painted Hills unit carbon neutral.

The Painted Hills home in February won a gold EnergyValue Housing Award at the International Builders’ Show in Florida. The home was the only project in Oregon to receive one of the awards given by the National Association of Home Builders.

The home, built last year by Bend-based Kirby Nagelhout Construction Co., is actually exceeding its net-zero energy goals, according to Mike Taylor, vice president of the contracting company.

A net-zero house would have a Home Energy Rating System Index number of 0, but the Painted Hills home is generating so much solar power that it is at -46. The HERS Index is based on actual energy consumption measured at the residence. The ranger home was designed with a -15 HERS Index target.

“The key to the design is a large, south-facing roof that has significant room to capture solar energy,” Taylor said via email. “The exciting thing is that homes like this could be built without a lot of the exotic methods people associate with super-efficient residences.”

 

 
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