by John F Robbins  CEM / CSDP
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Low Energy Usage is usually achieved in consistent ways.  Robbins designs include a variety of floor plans, exterior styles, construction materials, insulation types and HVAC equipment.  All have more insulation, more airtightness, better daylighting, passive solar features, more efficient HVAC and lighting equipment.  All are designed around these principles.
Ideal Siting & Design
Design for passive solar, natural ventilation, solar water heating
Smallest acceptable building size & conditioned space
Low ratio of exterior surface areas per floor area
Less complication
Owner/occupant participation in planning & design
Estimates of energy use & pollution during design
Optimal Building Components
Airtightness, high R-value & better moisture tolerance    
Component specs driven to achieve energy performance targets
Low or less maintenance
Less toxic materials & substances, esp. inside the home
Less waste
Careful Construction & Proper Installations
Contractors & installers informed about energy & pollution goals
Inspections of energy details during construction
Contractors & installers educated and assisted as needed
Reduced waste during construction
Energy Efficient Operations & Upkeep
Less energy usage, especially electricity
Daylighting, energy-efficient electric lamps & appliances
Regular assessment of energy use
Least pollution & waste


Below are some of my best designs.  A few offer more detailed presentations.  Click "more details" to read more.

New solar home to replace an existing older home in a traditional urban neighborhood in South-Central KY (2008).  Compact 2-floor plan, well insulated, airtightness verified by blower-door test, excellent daylighting, geothermal HVAC, passive solar windows design, solar water heating, grid-tied PV for annual "net-zero", CFL lighting, EnergyStar certified.

Passive solar new home in SE Indiana (1995).  Compact 2-floor plan, well insulated and airtight, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV), CFL lights, solar water heating, roof designed for future net-zero grid-tied PV.  More details.

Passive solar new home in rural South-Central KY (2011).  Compact 1-floor plan, partially bermed, well insulated (ICFs), airtightness verified by blower-door, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC and wood stove, CFL lighting.
Passive solar new home in rural North Central Kentucky (2014).  2-floor plan, partially bermed fully finished lower level, well insulated, airtightness verified by blower-door, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC, wood stove, heatpump water heater, CFL & LED lighting, heat recovery ventilation (ERV).
Passive solar new home in rural northern Nevada (2000).  1- and 2-floor areas, well insulated, airtight, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC, CFL lighting, heat recovery ventilation (HRV).
Passive solar new home in rural SW OH (2007).  Compact 1-floor plan, indoor-access storm cellar, well insulated, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC and wood stove, CFL lighting.

Passive solar new home in rural North Central KY (2005).   1-floor plan, well insulated, airtight, partially bermed, excellent daylighting, solar water heating, grid-tied solar PV with battery backup.

Passive solar new home in rural SE Indiana (2012).  Compact 2-floor plan, partially bermed & fully finished lower level, well insulated, airtightness verified by blower-door, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC & wood stove, CFL lighting, heat recovery ventilation (ERV).

Passive solar new home in SW Ohio (1992).  Compact 2-floor plan, well insulated and airtight (SIPs) with partially bermed fully finished wood foundation basement, excellent daylighting, solar water heating, CFL lighting, "healthy house" design & construction techniques, efficient HVAC, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).  More details.

Passive solar new home in a SW Ohio (1995).  Compact 3-floor plan, well insulated and airtight with fully finished wood foundation basement, excellent daylighting, solar water heating, efficient HVAC and wood-burning fireplace, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV), CFL lighting.  More details.

Passive solar new home in SW Ohio subb (early 1990s).  Well insulated and airtight (SIPs and insulated wood foundations), excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC and wood stove, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).

Passive solar new home in a SW Ohio suburb (early 1990s).  Well insulated and airtight (SIPs), solar water heating, efficient HVAC and wood-burning fireplace, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).

Passive solar new home in SW Ohio (early 1990s).  2-floor plan with partially bermed and finished lower level, geothermal HVAC with efficient natural gas furnace instead of resistance electric backup, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).

Passive solar new home in rural SE Indiana (early 1990s).  Compact 2-floor plan, well insulated (SIPs & wood foundation basement), airtight, mostly bermed lower level, efficient HVAC and wood-burning fireplace, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).  More details.

Passive solar new home in SW Ohio (1989).  Compact 1-floor plan, excellent daylighting, well insulated (SIPs), airtight, partially bermed wood foundations (SIPs), solar water heating, efficient HVAC, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).  More details.

Passive solar new home in SW Ohio (early 1990s).  2-floor plan with fully-finished insulated lower level, well insulated, airtight, efficient HVAC and wood stove, heat-recovery ventilation (HRV).

My current home, a split-level house in rural northern KY, substantially retrofitted 1997-2005 with fully insulated finished lower level, more  ceiling & crawlspace insulations, more airtightness, passive solar addition with thermal storage, excellent daylighting, efficient HVAC & appliances, efficient wood-burning fireplace, CFL lighting, solar water heating and off-grid solar electric + batteries for a home office.

My home 1979-97 in SW Ohio, an older house retrofitted 1980-1995 with insulations, efficient windows, removable sunscreens, insulated window shades, better airtightness, excellent daylighting, a passive solar addition, active solar air heating, solar water heating, CFL lighting and a clotheslines below the deck.

John F Robbins  CEM / CSDP

859.363.0376

3519 Moffett Rd
Morning View, KY USA  41063-8748