William Maclay - Vermont Architects and Planners
Choices in Sustainability
Option 2 - Traditional


Welcome to Vermont Healthy Home Positive Energy. This home combines the healthy home technologies of our previous Vermont Healthy Home with innovations in making homes that produce more energy than they consume. Our purpose in offering these plans is to do our part as an architecture firm to offer inspiring places for people to live, to reduce global warming, and to protect you and your family from likely fuel escalation shocks due to depletion of fossil fuels and the inevitable peaking of oil as our primary energy source.



This new design keeps all of the healthy features of the previous Vermont Healthy Homes, but adds innovative and efficient renewable energy on top of an envelope with even higher insulation levels. We can provide complete design and construction services or you can purchase the plans and have your local builder build your home. Our new home design is called The Vermont Healthy Home Positive Energy (VHH+e).



Positive energy homes generate more energy than they consume on an annual basis and averaged over several years. The energy resource collected on the site of the home, or in this case possibly on the roof of the garage. Typically, net zero buildings are connected to the electric grid, which serves as a storage mechanism to accommodate the fluctuating availability of renewable energy. There are four major reasons for building a net zero home: eliminating dependence on non-renewable energy, fluctuating energy costs, minimizing carbon production and global warming, and reducing energy costs.


The purpose of a positive energy building is to eliminate the use of all carbon-producing fuels, while developing a secure and reliable energy source for the future. Because renewable energy sources are typically more expensive than nonrenewable energy sources in today's market, significant energy conservation is essential to the success of net zero buildings. Achieving a zero-energy goal therefore requires lowering energy consumption by 70% or more before considering renewable energy sources.

Our Vermont Healthy Home Positive Energy is heavily insulated and air-sealed-with a building envelope of R-50 on walls, R-70 on roofs, and R-5 windows, making it an ideal choice for colder northern climates. This thermal envelope far surpasses normal construction guidelines.



We offer two options for the home, a compact and an expanded. The compact 16' wide home is a two-bedroom home on two stories, while the expanded 20' wide home offers three bedrooms on three stories. Both plans are designed to accommodate a small family with an open light-filled floor plan on the first floor.