Design and Performance of the Van Geet Off-Grid Home

C. Dennis Barley, Paul Torcellini, Otto Van Geet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus Citations


The Van Geet home near Denver, Colorado, demonstrates the successful integration of energy conservation measures and renewable energy supply in a beautiful, comfortable, energy-efficient, 295-m 2 (3,176-ft 2) off-grid home in a cold, sunny climate. Features include a tight envelope, energy-efficient appliances, passive solar heating (direct gain and Trombe wall), natural cooling, solar hot water, and photovoltaics. In addition to describing this house and its performance, this paper describes the recommended design process of (1) setting a goal for energy efficiency at the outset, (2) applying rules of thumb, and (3) using computer simulation to fine-tune the design. Performance monitoring and computer simulation are combined for the best possible analysis of energy performance. In this case, energy savings are estimated as 89% heating and cooling (compared to 95 MEC), 83% electrical, and nearly 100% domestic water heating. The heating and cooling energy use is 8.96 kJ/°C·day·m 2 (0.44 Btu/°F·day·ft 2).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)738-743
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

For preprint version, including online full-text document, see CP-550-32764.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-550-36447


  • High performance
  • Off-grid
  • Passive solar
  • Residential


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