John Gerlach, a retired military civil engineer, purchased the Design Basics’ Amanda (plan #3381) and worked with our designers to make desired alterations, such as moving the master bath and bedroom for added privacy. But, the changes that really make his home stand out are the ‘green’ ones.
Drawing on his background in civil engineering, Gerlach was knowledgeable of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and the process for a home to be certified. Stationed in Europe for four years, he became familiar with the energy- and cost-efficiency (and comfort) of heated floors. He started with incorporating a reinforced concrete basement using #4 and #5 bars* for durability. By installing a reverse geothermal* process (provides both heating and cooling of the home), solar panels, and a gas fireplace, monthly utility costs were substantially reduced–his last electric and gas bills were each just $17!
The planning began in June of 2013, with construction completed in early 2014. The result is a beautiful home with enviable energy efficiency. And, the home, which was built in Niagara County, New York, is now rated Silver LEED-certified and qualifies for zero or reduced county taxes for up to nine years!
As mentioned, Gerlach worked with Design Basics’ plan alterations specialists to flip the layout of the master bedroom, placing the bathroom and closet to the rear, and swapping out the whirlpool tub for a spacious walk-in shower.
While all floors on the main level are heated using the geothermal system, only the fireplace is powered by gas.
Design Basics’ home plans are designed with buildability in mind. Search our plans, and check out other alternative building methods that might be the right fit for you!
*We do not endorse construction materials suppliers; this reference is for educational purposes only.
The article mentioned heating the downstairs floors and only a gas FP; what was used to heat the upstairs?
What “brand”/manufacturer of the Solar was used? As well as what brand and size of the Reverse Geo Thermal was used? Why was it called Reverse Geothermal? Did they use Water or Glycol for the heated floors?
Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, the homeowner did not disclose the specifics on the heating/cooling/powering of the home. There is a link in the article to a website that explains the Reverse Geothermal process, but it basically means it can heat and cool.