The Sun Shines in Washington

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Solar power is not a phenomenon limited to the West coast. Philadelphia-based Don Bradley, president of Bradley Builders & Developers, has been building solar-powered homes since 1989.

March 01, 2001

Solar power is not a phenomenon limited to the West coast. Philadelphia-based Don Bradley, president of Bradley Builders & Developers, has been building solar-powered homes since 1989.

His latest project, however, will be built on what is arguably the most interesting site thus far. In April, Bradley will build a solar home on the Mall in Washington, D.C. As part of the American Solar Energy Association’s conference, which comes around every four years, Bradley will construct a modular, two-story Colonial that will be on display April 21-25, as well as the following weekend to coincide with Earth Day festivities.

The 2600-plus-square-foot home - custom-designed for a client in Loudon County, Va., who will see the house dissassembled after the show and rebuilt on his lot - will operate off-grid during the show, be ultra-energy efficient and utilize solar technologies, including photovoltaics passive solar design and solar hot water heating. The home’s monthly heating and electricity costs should be 60 to 70 percent lower than an average home, according to Bradley.

Bradley says he typically builds to the "thermostat mentality," meaning people don’t need to change their lifestyles to live in a solar home. "If you want more heat, want to run the dishwasher, use them. This home will be as conventional as any home you walk into - just extremely energy efficient."

For more information on the American Solar Energy Society and the conference, go to www.ases.org.

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