Casita: a small house

In the face of rising energy costs, the Casita's homeowners wanted their second home's carrying costs to be minimized as much as possible. Paired with a rustic design that incorporates a variety of reclaimed materials, this zero energy casita is providing that sustainability and cost effectiveness are not mutually exclusive concepts. 

 Floor plan of Zero Energy Casita

Casita Floor Plan  (1,015 sf of living space)

1.  Master Bedroom
2.  Master Bath/Closet
3.  Guest Bedroom
4.  Guest Bath
5.  Utility/Panty
6.  Kitchen
7.  Great Room
8.  Front Porch

Homeowner's Thoughts

We never deliberately set out to build a "green" home, but we incrementally moved along a continuum as we’ve gone from concept to design to build over the past 18 months or so. Initially it was all about saving money through energy efficiency; my neighbor likes to say we were mostly interested in being "light green". At the time the price of oil was rapidly increasing and as this was a second home I wanted our monthly carry costs to be minimized.

Then as we further refined our design concept the rustic look and feel of the house naturally lent itself to using a fair amount of reclaimed materials. The final step was evaluating the total net cost of producing our own electricity with a wind turbine. Our home is located on a lake with little obstructions and a good breeze on most days. When current incentives and tax credits are taken into account, the cost to install a wind turbine relative to the energy produced seemed to make good investment sense. The fact that all of these things are good for the environment is an added bonus.

You all were instrumental in educating us on many simple things we could do to make the home more energy efficient, and you were always seeking those things which produced the best bang for
 the buck not just pushing concepts and technology for its own sake. I also appreciate your commitment to building green (not just the final product) but the actual building process itself. 

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More on Unique Characteristics

Reclaimed barn wood is rich with a working history and brings a very unique, sustainable aesthetic to the Casita. No two planks of the antique barn wood siding are the same; the color and weathered characteristics depending on whether the barn was located on a hill, valley, covered by trees or left exposed to the sun.