From a story by Sarah Rasmussen on WEAU News:

We’ve all heard of building energy efficient homes, but with a new grant, a Black River Falls couple is taking their plans to the extreme.

The Chambers’ are building a Green Max, net zero home that will produce just as much energy as it consumes.

Tom Chambers says the overall cost is $325,000 to build, but a $50,000 grant from Wisconsin Public Power Inc. and an additional $16,000 in energy incentives will help them complete this technological wonder.

After more than a year of planning and several blueprints later, the chambers are finally able to build their Green Max home.

“We always, both of us have been conscious of sustainability and conservation,” Chambers says.

Solar panels will help the home produce energy, but there are many other energy saving aspects in the home to help it break even.

“First thing you have to do is build a home that is isolated from everything exterior,” Chambers says.

“We’ve added additional foam insulation under the basement slab. There’s two inches of foam there. There’s two inches of foam on the exterior of the basement walls. You can see we’ve added an inch of foam all the way around the exterior of the wall,” says General Contractor Todd Paige.

He says they built the home using 2x8s instead of 2x6s to increase the amount of insulation in the walls.

Another interesting aspect of the home is the windows. For example, the windows on the west side of the house will be treated to let more heat from the sun in during the winter, while the windows on north side of the house have been treated to block heat from the sun during the summer.

The Chambers’ home will be heated by a geothermal heating system.