High performance home will be San Diego's first Certified Passive House
Casa Aguila will arguably be the most advanced home ever built in San Diego County, looking to achieve many firsts for the region. It will be San Diego's first Certified Passive House, seek the County's first onsite wastewater treatment permit, seek the County's first permit to utilize all collected rainwater for all indoor water use, and strive for eventual grid-disconnection through utilization of battery power, Solar PV, and a 17-foot wind turbine.
The home is a pilot-project for Zehnder’s new ComfoDew system, shipped from Italy, which provides for humidity control in the home. Humidity control is not only important for both thermal comfort and space conditioning efficiency, it helps reduce relative humidity in the home in the cooling season. This allows for a lower dew point, which allows for a lower cooling temperature of the hydronic radiant floors.
To handle the collected rainwater, the home features nine tanks with a total of 90,000 gallons of storage capacity, collecting rainwater from the roof and stormwater collected from area drains around the grounds of the property. Rainwater from the roof is the primary source for all indoor water use, and stormwater from the site is dedicated to irrigation and fire suppression. One of those four stormwater tanks is dedicated to fire suppression (The home is required by the county to have one 10,000 gallon fire suppression tank.)
The ground-mounted solar panels employ trackers to keep the panels pointed at the sun for maximum efficiency. The Dual Axis Trackers are capable of omnidirectional tracking, unlike trackers that rotate on one axis (east-west) or are stationary (like roof-mounted systems.
The project is located in Ramona, CA and is named for the Golden Eagles which frequently fly over the property.
Companies: Zehnder America
Barry Stephens / Barry Stephens trained in Switzerland, Holland, and Germany in ventilation technology and heat recovery ventilation. He has been with Zehnder America for 14 years, first as National Sales and Marketing Manager, and now as Business Development and Technology Director. He has worked throughout North America with high performance homes and with many high visibility projects in North America, including Passive Houses, Net Zero Energy Homes, and Solar Decathlon Projects (2) in 2011.