Located in the Birchwood neighborhood of Bellingham, Washington, lies the newly built Birch Home. The Birch Home is zero energy, zero water and zero sewer. Architect Dan Welch and builder Chris Tretwold of Tretwold Construction built the home to the high energy performance standards of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program and the home is now where Dan Welch and his wife reside. Welch had designed or consulted on several high-performance homes prior to this project, but this was the first home he actually built. Through careful thought, research and time, Welch and Tretwold were able to achieve this triple play in performance.
In order to make all aspects of The Birch home “zero,” different products and systems were used to ensure the building was as high performing as possible. Solar panels were used to produce energy while rainwater provides all the home’s water supply. Additionally, the home has about nine inches of polyiso insulation on the roof for maximum energy efficiency.
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