Building an Energy Efficient Barndominium
Barndominiums allow enjoying stylish barn aesthetics as a primary residence while minimizing environmental impact. Homeowners can build or update their steel barndos utilizing the latest green materials and systems for maximized energy efficiency. Follow these tips for realizing net-zero or Passive House certified barndo retreats.
High Performance Insulation
Superinsulate building envelopes to minimize heat transfer and lower demands. Layer blown-cellulose, densepacked wool or recyclable denim batts to achieve R-40+ wall ratings. Roof assemblies benefit from combining rigid foam boards or spray foam with fiberglass batts for R-60+ resistance to elements. Perform proper air sealing and include vapor barriers as well.
Energy Efficient Windows
Upgrade leaky old barn windows to triple-glazed models with thermally broken frames, low-E coatings and insulated spacer bars. Carefully sized openings balanced across sun-facing walls encourage natural light and passive solar heat gains during winters.
HVAC Efficiency Systems
Install right-sized hydronic or geothermal heat pumps, on-demand tankless water heaters, and ERV air exchangers to balance ventilation and retain conditioned air. Smart programmable thermostats, zoned control boards, and well-placed returns also diminish wasted energy.
Renewable Energy Integration
Supplement efficient building techniques with abundant renewable energy inputs. Solar PV and solar thermal arrays easily mount on barndo rooftops or ground mounts to generate ample electricity, heat water, and melt snow naturally. Small wind turbines also harness breezes if sited appropriately.
Water Conservation Features
Responsible water use conserves resources too. Low flow plumbing fixtures, recycled rainwater collection into cisterns, xeric landscaping, and even composting toilets demonstrate barndos can sustainably coexist with nature.
With diligent design selections maximizing high performance building science, barndominiums thrive energy-independent thanks to the sun, wind and earth’s thermal mass alone. Break ground on your eco-conscious rural dream home!