Sustainable Laramie

Off Grid Case Study


In an environment such as Laramie, Wyoming, a fully sustainable, successful net-zero working and living structure is no small undertaking. Winter average temperature highs barely get above freezing, on the plus side, relatively strong insolation (solar radiation exposure) in the area provides a natural, practical reason for adopting innovative solar technology engineering in structural design. Marshall Contracting, Inc.’s selected an “envelope house” scheme to come up with a totally passive solar heating solution for their client’s unique request for a combination workshop/backup residential structure for self-sufficient living. An envelope house incorporates a greenhouse section to create a reservoir of warm air and relies on a circulating and reversible air path to collect heat during the day and use it at night. In effect, the house sits in the “envelope” of a thermal barrier and acts like a heat-pump, with solid wood construction providing adequate thermal insulation while the concrete slab foundation stores heat collected during the day for circulation at night.

  • Location
  • System Power
  • Components