Cleantech’s Green Technology On Display

Green homebuilding systems include solar water, solar panels, geothermal heat and LED lights.

Tom LeBlanc · May 22, 2009

The folks at Cleantech say that once their show home is finished, it will be part museum, part warehouse, part classroom and part conference room.

Above all else, it will show off green homebuilding technology. The following is a sample of its features:

Solar Hot Water—The Velux panels will produce 100 percent of the domestic hot water supply, and the solar hot water will be fully integrated with the geothermal heat pump system to complement indoor home heating requirements.

Cleantech president James Farnham says the efficient heating system requires no waiting for the water to get hot.

Solar Photovoltaic (PT) Panels—Installed by NEXAMP, these panels include 24 190-watt photovoltaic electric panels that are tied to the grid.

They’ll be used to run the geothermal heat pump and most other electrical needs of the house. People will be able to monitor the home’s energy usage and take note of savings on AMX touchpanels.

Georthermal Heat—A closed-loop geothermal system will use the earth’s stable temperature to cool or warm the house. Water is drawn from underground and circulated through a heat pump, which exchanges energy between the home and the earth as needed for cooling or heating.

The house is built in an extremely rocky area but Farnham says drilling wasn’t a bit problem since it uses a single 480-foot well.

LED Lights—Cleantech expects the show house to be the first house in the United States to exclusively use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for all lighting sources.

Founder Michel Reichert concedes that it’s not a practical approach since LED technology isn’t cost-effective. His intention, though, isn’t to sell people on the idea of using 100 percent LED; it’s more about educating them about LED, which he says will soon be cost-effective enough to be a great money-saving lighting option.

WaterSense—Cleantech’s show home was selected by the Environmental Protection Agency for its new WaterSense Pilot Program. Reichert says it’s sort of like the water label equivalent to the Energy Star label for electric appliances.

Cleantech is one of five builders in the United States to be chosen to participate in the program.

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  About the Author

Tom has been covering consumer electronics for six years. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Now, as senior writer/technology editor of CE Pro magazine since 2003, he dabbles in all departments and offers expertise in marketing. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Tom at

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  Article Topics

News · Builders · Installation · All Topics
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