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The Zero Energy Home

Have you got a spare $350,000? Specht Harpman are looking for an investor to turn their zeroHouse concept into a reality.

Compact living has a high profile at the moment (just a couple of weeks ago we blogged about a 12 foot house), and as the world urbanises it is likely to remain an important issue.

Called the zeroHouse because it is capable of generating the same amount of energy it requires to function, the building can be placed off-grid without needing connection to external utilities or waste disposal. "The off-grid model has the most challenges, so that's the test case we designed for," says co-designer, Scott Specht. "We think that the value is in the complete self-sufficiency, the absolutely minimal environmental and site impact, and the fact that this would be a model for what can be done — a 'first adapter' demonstration of the ultimate in green living."

And the building design definitely provides for bright-green living. The roof is covered in solar panels, there are composting facilities beneath the building, and it has facilities for storing over 2,000 gallons of rainwater.

The building may only be 650 square feet, but its designers don't consider this a problem: "People think they need a bigger house, but they may just need a better designed one." And the home packs a lot into its space. The ground floor contains a kitchen and living space, whilst upstairs has two double bedrooms and a bathroom. There is also potential for 250 feet of outdoor covered space, great if you live in an area with a warm climate.

Whilst no prototype has been built yet, the design of the building is fully-formed and ready for construction, Scott Specht and Louise Harpman are just waiting on that six-figure cash injection.

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