A “net zero home” constructed in Haywood County will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 3 and 10.
Located in Beaverdam Valley, the structure strikes an elusive balance between work and play. It produces all the power it needs on site to operate and in the future will produce much of the food — meat, eggs, vegetables and fruits — its occupants will need to thrive. It also sports a brass firepole and a hidden room for a kid’s getaway. The 2,000-square-foot home of Val Lamberti and Mark Bondurant was completed in July 2012 by Rare Earth Builders Inc.
The metal standing seam roof supports a 4.8-kilowatt solar array and will also be used to gather rain water for irrigation. A ground-based high efficiency heat pump heats and cools the passive solar home. Wall and roof cavities are insulated with sprayed open cell foam. An energy recovery ventilator brings fresh, filtered air into the house.
Bondurant and Lamberti are gradually installing the elements of a permaculture site plan that includes a large vegetable garden, tilled and fertilized by free range chickens, a greenhouse, a fish pond, honey bee hives and fruit and nut trees. The driving principle for the home’s interior was lots of curves, brilliant color and finely crafted trim and built-ins from local hardwoods. All of the trim wood — cherry, birch and poplar — was cut by the Rare Earth Builders crew, three miles away, then kiln dried and milled locally.
From Beaverdam Road, turn right on Smathers Cove Road. Cross bridge, turn left onto first gravel road (house will be visible on left after crossing bridge on Smathers Cove Road).