Zero energy solar-powered home gets prestigious accolade

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The cabin was designed by Colin John Jenkins (Photos contributed)
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A team of eco-minded local businesses are celebrating a first for the region after their zero energy house received a prestigious stamp of approval.

The chic, solar-powered one-bedroom home is the Caribbean’s first ‘ready-designated’ project of its kind facilitated by environmental NGO, the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

All of the building’s activities, utilities and equipment are powered entirely by renewable energy. The house boasts a total cistern capacity of 30,000 gallons, divided between potable water use and irrigation.

The cabin was designed for a private client by local entrepreneur and architect Colin John Jenkins.

“It has massive hydraulic doors spanning 26ft that open at the press of a button to give you a really nice panoramic view,” Jenkins told Observer. “It has natural ventilation coming through windows which can be opened and solar panels clad the entire façade of the building.

“It pulls enough power to service what would be a three-bedroom house on a monthly basis so in other words it generates more power than it ever needs per month,” he added.

“Ready designation is awarded through an audit of all non-performance-based documentation upon completion of construction,” a release said.

“This process allows for early recognition once systems are in place to ensure that intended outcomes are on track to be achieved. The final certification will be provided after 12 months of data shows compliance.”

Zero energy is recognised worldwide as one of the highest aspirations in energy performance in the built environment. Such certification allows projects to demonstrate that the building is truly operating as claimed, harnessing energy from the sun, wind or earth to produce net annual energy demand.

The ILFI currently has more than 250 certified buildings around the world and more than 500 pursuing certifications.

The team behind the solar cabin includes Jenkins’ company CJC + Associates Inc, plus VeSign, Davis Engineering Services, Antigua ERA Services, Peters Electrical, Resilience Plumbing, BIM Solutions, Carisun Renewable Energy, Premium Solutions, Square One Ltd, Natural Construction, Trav’s Enterprise, Colin I Painting Services, The Inside Space, AF Manufacturing, and David Stubbs and his landscaping team.

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