2015 Project Sites (Fall)


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tour: 9am – 1pm

A) The Hide & Seek Home (1904 Northwood Ct., Pearland, 77581)

B) Zero Electrical Energy Home(2616 George St., Pearland, 77581)

C) Holmgren Residence (2714 White Falls Dr. Pearland, 77584)

D) Bluebird Home (3811 Bluebird Way, Pearland, 77584)


Descriptions of sites:

The Hide & Seek Home

hideseekroofWhat makes this home special is its “eaDesign for Life” passive design strategy for resiliency and sustainability. It has a strong north/south orientation to assist passive ventilation and ample shading to reduce cooling loads as well as providing an ideal surface for the PV System array and Rain Water Harvesting. The roof faces 28o west of true south (208o azimuth) due to site use constraints and was designed with its 26o slope (tilt) to take maximum advantage of sun angles for near optimal PV panel placement for efficiency. This S-SW facing roof’s overhang was extended to about 4 ft to provide window shading and braced to accomodate the uplift from hurricane force winds. A roof monitor provides ample daylighting for the main living area and also allows the home to generate its own interior breezes without the use of any fans during the Spring and Fall and pleasant days of summer and winter. The Craftsman style evoked home’s exterior and interior finishes are wonderfully executed by a true wood craftsmen. Landscaping has both native and edible plants. The home uses 30-250 Watt Hyundai MG 250 solar modules combined with 30 enPhase M215 micro inverters for increased power production during partly cloudy days. According to data provided by Texas Solar Power Company, the estimated monthly value of electricity generated from the system is around $70.00/month and it will essentially pay for itself within 17.5 years. Updated energy performance data for the entire home will be available at the tour.
Project website link

Property size: 3750 sqft (home), 1.6 acres (property)
Year installed: 2013
Power Generation: 7.5 kW installed; projected 600 KWh/month
Solar system cost: $30,800 before credit, $21,500 after credit ($2.88/watt)
System payback: 17.5 years @ $0.097/kWh
Annual savings: $876
General contractor: Lacon Homes, Les Albin (http://www.laconhomeshouston.com/)
Solar system installer and electrician: Texas Solar Power Company (www.txspc.com)
Architect/designer: Environment Associates, LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED AP (http://www.environmentassoc.com)
Photo credit: Environment Associates


Zero Electrical Energy Home

Sweet residence roof

This is a self-installed solar system with a professional look that reduces the electric bill to zero. Includes roof and ground mounted systems installed at different times. All city permits, Reliant Generation Contract and Home Owners Association permissions were done by home owner and an electrician pulled the Electrical permit. We have zeroed out the entire electric bill with these solar systems. We drive an electric plug in hybrid automobile that has greatly reduced the gasoline bill by using electricity from this solar installation. The gasoline savings can help to pay back the solar system even faster if you include the price of gasoline saved from plugging in the car to the solar system. This savings is not included in the totals below to show only the solar system by itself. Come by and see how you can do it too!

Property size: 2300 sqft (home), 14500 sqft (property)
Year installed: 2012 – 2013
Power Generation: 10.4 kW
Solar system cost: $24,000 before credit, $16,800 after credit
System payback: 6.22 years (March 2019)
Annual savings: $2700
Solar system installer and electrician: Home owner self-installed
Electrician: Generator Industries & Tom Zaehler


Holmgren Residence


The Suniva PV panels in this system face toward the southwest so system power output is maximized during afternoon peak air conditioning load times. The equipment in the system is 100% manufactured in USA. The color of the panels blends well with the existing roofing shingles. The panels use Enphase Energy M250 microinverters.

Solar panel performance and maintenance alerts are available via a smartphone application or website.

The power plan in use is “TXU Free Nights 18” and power is charged at $0.189/kWh between 6 AM to 10 PM. A surplus power purchase agreement pays 0.075 $/kWh for excess energy sent to the grid. The home is equipped with a smart meter.

A Nissan Leaf (all-electric) vehicle is recharged at night when electricity is free. The Leaf will be available for viewing during the tour, too.

Year installed: 2014
Power Generation: 7 kW installed
Solar system cost: $25,380 before credit, $17,766 after credit
System payback (years): 11.4
Solar system installer and electrician: Texas Solar Outfitters


Bluebird Home


Welcome to Bluebird Gardens – our common-sense farmhouse-style green home. Our design goal was to build a home that used as little energy as possible while planning for the installation of energy-producing technologies in the future. Working with our architect, LaVerne Williams of Environment Associates, we developed a home design best fitted to our lot that took advantage of the Houston climate while still meeting our lifestyle requirements. Using Laverne’s “eaDesign for Life” concepts and principles, every aspect of our home includes green design techniques. As part of our green design research, we reviewed floor plans from the 1800s (before electricity and central heating/cooling) to find common-sense designs that take advantage of the environment to heat and cool the home. We discovered energy efficient design treasures such as dogtrot houses and breeze rooms that were easily incorporated into our modern home design. We spent most of our time, effort and money incorporating these common-sense green designs into our home while utilizing modern energy efficient materials. We also designed our home to withstand the winds of a category 3-4 hurricane. The results have been wonderful; our energy bills are fantastically low (normally under $100). Because of the passive solar heating design, 2 out of the 7 winters we’ve been in our green home we haven’t had to turn on the heater even once. During Hurricane Ike we had $0 damage.

Property size: 1 acre (3 butterfly gardens, 1,200 sqft organic vegetable garden and 9 fruit trees)
House size: approximately 3,700 sqft
Exterior walls: 1 ft thick – Structured Insulated Panels (SIPs) with 4 inch rough-cut limestone.
Eaves: approximately 3 ft to shade the house in summer but allow sun in all south facing windows in the winter for passive solar heating.
Window placement: 2 on the east side, 2 on the west side (under a 10 ft porch), 11 on the north side and 10 on the south side.
Roof: white metal to reflect the sun
Water retention: 4 – 200 gallon rain barrels for a total of 800 gallons
Air flow room designs: Dogtrot (living/dining room) & breeze rooms (music room & master bedroom)
Energy efficient appliances: GE kitchen appliances, Lennox AC/heating, Rinnai exterior tankless water heaters

Air quality:
1. Zero or low-VOC paints, lacquers and glues used throughout the house during construction
2. MERV 10 filter on the dehumidifier and MERV 11 filters on the AC/heating units
3. AC source and return vents in each room to maximize air filtration

Recycling areas for:
All plant and vegetable matter

More information

You can also check out our Info Center, where you can download previous year’s guides.