David Large points to a solar panel array and a glass-enclosed sun room that provide electricity and heat to his energy efficient home in rural Sequim in 2018. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

David Large points to a solar panel array and a glass-enclosed sun room that provide electricity and heat to his energy efficient home in rural Sequim in 2018. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Sequim home part of national energy efficieny ‘open house’ tour

One of the “outside benefits” to an energy-efficient like his, David Large says, is the way extra insulation reduces the outside noise.

And while he may not be able to hear much road traffic, Large is hoping for some foot traffic during this Saturday’s home demonstration, part of a nationwide event to spotlight solar power and energy efficiency.

Large’s house, at 173 Griffith Farm Road, joins about 1,000 others across the country on a nationwide “open house” co-sponsored by nonprofits American Solar Energy Society and the Solar User’s Network.

Participating homes and businesses will demonstrate how they have incorporated energy efficiency measures and solar power.

While some focus on the solar aspect, Large says his house focuses more on overall efficiency.

“I think energy efficiency is more important in this market,” he says.

Community members are invited to stop by Large’s home between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. His is a “net-zero passive home,” meaning it requires much less power than a conventional home — about a quarter less than current homes and a third less than newer homes, by his estimates — and then uses solar collectors to generate the residual energy required.

The home is so efficient, Large says, it’s able to fully power his electric car.

Other distinct home features include a sun room that provides much of the heat in the spring and fall months, and a monitoring system of actual energy consumption by various equipment.

The home may surprise some people, Large says.

“It’s an amazingly comfortable house.”

The home is on display in conjunction with the Clallam County Public Utility District (PUD), whose representatives will have brochures describing current PUD incentives for energy efficiency upgrades.

Large will be on hand to describe the project in creation and performance, talk about energy trade-offs and options and more. In previous demonstrations he leads groups of five to 10, walking through the house and showing them what energy-efficient upgrades look like.

The demonstration is a non-commercial event, he notes.

“I hope it motivates people,” Large says. “This is a chance for people who want to actually do something (about climate change, etc.) instead of just talking about it.”

Large says he got his start in energy-efficient homes back in the oil embargo era of the mid-1970s. He and his wife built a three-story home in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.

With solar-powered hot water, double-pane windows and other features, “it was energy efficient right away,” he says.

In 2000 they built a second home, complete with a solar-based electric system to generate all of its power.

In 2010 they bought property in Sequim and moved in six years later, Large says.

“By that time the alternative energy … had greatly matured.”

The home was designed as a demonstration, but he lives there as well.

“I live in it, but I live in an experiment, so to speak,” he says.

There will be coffee and cookies for visitors, Large says.

For more about the national tour, see www.nationalsolar tour.org.

For those unable to attend the tour but interested in the demonstration, they can contact Large at Dbiguy@aol.com.

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