Virtual CEU Tour of the Pembroke Passive Solar Zero Energy Ready Home

It's not often that someone makes their vacation home a place to advance social justice AND Green Building but Neil Peck does just that! He invites you in to take a tour of the Pembroke Passive Solar home, a beautiful new build located 75 miles south of Chicago nestled in a Black Oak Savanna. Neil takes you in to describe how he achieved GreenStar Gold Certification and the Zero Energy Ready Badge. Using solar pv, solar thermal, all electric HVAC, better walls, proper window orientation, and passive ventilation, Neil showcases his last year's energy usage and teaches us how he got there and reflects and what could be done differently. On top of that, Neil describes how a home can be used to have a positive impact on a local community through a sense of place.

Make sure you watch Pt1 & Pt2!

Part 1 - Introduction, garden, site walkthrough and how about the community

Part 2 - Thermal envelope, solar, ventilation and utility data.

Take the Tour here!

Lessons Learned

1. Articulate concepts and strategies to meet LEED BD+C V4 EA Credit Building Orientation for Passive Solar
2. Understand the benefits of preserving the landscape and rainwater catchment as it relates to LEED BD+C V4 WE Outdoor Water Use
3. Review whole-house balanced ventilation and connection to LEED BD+C V4 EQ Credit Enhanced ventilation
4. Know more about GreenStar and Zero Energy Ready certification requirements and benefits.

Download the Handout & Checklist to go along with the course

CEUS .5 hours in

AIA HSW (1 hour)*
BPI Non-Whole House
NARI Green
*May be applicable to your state based designed license

Take the Tour here!


Download the quiz here and follow the instructions to submit

Instructor / Builder / Homeowner

Neil Peck has been building and renovating homes for more than 40 years. He began S. N. Peck Builder, Inc. in 1982 and has completed more than 1000 architect–designed custom projects in the Chicago area. Prior to moving to Chicago and opening his own business, Neil worked in southwest Michigan with his father building and remodeling homes. His commitment to green and sustainable construction methods originated in the 1970′s when he and his dad built solar-heated and passive-design homes. He is currently the President of the Board of Windy City Habitat for Humanity and is a LEED AP, with an advanced knowledge of green building techniques. He has a B.A. in history from Indiana University and has traveled extensively.

Take the Tour here!

Tags: All, CEUS., Electric, Energy, GreenStar, Passive, Ready, Solar, Zero

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I sure wanted to know more about the wall and roof construction, type of insulation, window numbers, air sealing techniques, floor area, south facing and total window area. etc, etc.

Also, something is wrong with the numbers.  At 13:35 of part two there is a chart showing total usage and total energy produced.  The 3.6 kW system produced 1,792 kWh, which seems a low in production, but I don't know sun conditions.  The 9,312 kWh net usage works out to 776 a month, and he says his average bill was $28.  This means he paid 3.6¢/kWh???  With this low cost, what is the payback of the array?  At my Mid-Atlantic cost of 13¢/kWh that would be just over $100.  We have a couple of local houses that are bigger than this with 5 and 6 kW on the roof that have bills in the $50 - $60 a month range, and they are lived in full time by more than one person.

Any ideas?

Hi, Ed

That is one reason we avoid talking about energy costs vs energy use because it is so complex per utility. We are up in climate zone 5 here for the solar in cloudy IL but yes, that does seem very low! 

You can press pause the video and zoom in I think to read the wall details. 


Thanks - I also found the attachment that had more specs on it.  The windows are triple glazed - what are the numbers?  Is he really paying 3.6¢/kWh?


He said in the video (12:20) he sells the generated power on a market for people that need renewable energy credits. The mandate makes it viable.


That doesn't change the math.  If his bill was $28 a month and he paid for 776 kWh a month - well.  Nice project, just trying to understand the numbers.  


You know utilities are pretty complex, especially in IL, however it looks like just about 6.8 cents / KWH is what he generated and what he is charged but there a lot of other fees tacked on there and taken away here and there. 


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