View from the Porch


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About Us

The Residential Energy Laboratory is located in Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado, USA.  The view above is one of the views from the front porch, and is the Southern Sawatch Range, which includes the 4300 m (14,000 ft.) peaks of the Continental Divide.  The Arkansas River, with many famous whitewater runs, flows through Salida.  Monarch Mountain Ski and Snowboard Park is about 40 minutes away by car.  Places for mountain biking, road biking, and hiking abound.  Chaffee County is about 80% public lands, most managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  

Salida is just over 2150 m (7000 ft.) in elevation, and has a yearly average of 3916 heating degree-C days (7049 heating degree-F days), based on base temperatures of 18.3C (65F), and 5 cooling degree-C days (9 cooling degree-F days), based on base temperatures of 21.1C (70F).   Average yearly solar insolation on a flat plate collector tilted at the latitude and pointed due south is 5.9 kW/m2/day, which means there is plentiful solar energy for heating and electrical generation.  

The Residential Energy Laboratory is an example of a modest production-style house that demonstrates energy sustainability by being a net zero source energy house.  The calculations used in the energy saving design of the house are provided, as well as all the construction details.  Details for energy use are provided so that others can use various computer models to cross-check the accuracy of their models.  

Research concerning the energy performance of various aspects of houses is being conducted.  Lee G. Dodge is Managing Director of the Residential Energy Laboratory.