Homes that are 100% powered by the sun.

Cut the cord on energy costs with our proven zero energy home plans.

Zero-energy home

Powerhouse simplifies the process of building a net-zero home.

We bring the next generation of energy efficiency and comfort within reach of anyone planning a new build. This is the future of housing.

Featured zero energy home plans

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Custom design & consultation

Do you want an efficient home that is tailored to your lifestyle and needs? Let our award-winning team of net-zero design experts develop plans that are in harmony with your budget and building site. We also offer consultation services to support you at any stage of your homebuilding journey.

Our homes are designed to outperform

No Energy Bills

Your home can generate enough solar energy to cover all heating, cooling, and domestic use. It can even have enough left to charge your electric car!

Comfort

Outstanding indoor air quality, comfortable temperatures in all seasons, abundant natural light. Your new home will be the most comfortable and livable space you’ve ever experienced.

Low Carbon

Your home will contain below-average embodied carbon and will emit zero carbon day to day.

Learn more about net-zero building »

Who we are

We are drawn to people with a passion for doing things differently, who dream big and see possibilities beyond the status quo. When you work with us, you get a team that shares your commitment to pushing the performance envelope, that is personally committed to making your home everything you dreamed it could be.

Meet our people »

Powerhouse Design Team

Why Powerhouse Designs?

All our house designs have been built. We are a team of very practical designers who work in the design-build industry. Because these houses are easy and logical to build, your contractor’s bid price will be lower than other designs. Living in a Powerhouse means you pay no fuel or electricity bills, the interior is bright, and you have splendid vaulted ceilings. We have been awarded more than a dozen times by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Awards

Housing Innovation Award 2021
Housing Innovation Awards 2020 Winner Badge

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Testimonials

“I am astonished almost every day with how well this house works for us. . . . The Powerhouse designers listened carefully and turned our ideas and sketches into a practical design that could be built in an efficient manner. We are both delighted with living here and really enjoying all the features.”

Carrie & John
Everson, WA

“It has been a wonderful experience living in our home so far…The quality of my sleep is so much better now that we live in a well-insulated house that stays cool during hot days and has a good ventilation system. The house design, with our bedroom to the north, ensures a better sleeping environment. Having our living areas on the south also ensures the most used areas of the house have great natural light and feel bright and welcoming.”

Erica & Mark
Bellingham, WA

“Being such an integrated part of the design process and being able to work so closely with the design team has helped us feel a sense of ownership and satisfaction with every part of our house. This is, in every way, our house, and the design team was a crucial part in making that happen.”

Sheili & Andy
Bellingham, WA

“Jake was a real pleasure to work with on design—made it really easy. We didn’t even have to know anything about CAD software. And the clerestory is terrific for light.”

Bonnie & Bill
Bellingham, WA

“The firm’s designer, Jake, was a joy to work with, and I imposed upon him far too often without complaint. He saved me from numerous errors, unneeded expense, and walked me through a tangled San Juan County permitting process I would have struggled with.”

Robert
Orcas Island, WA

FAQ

Is net zero possible in my cold/hot/cloudy location?

Yes. We build net-zero houses in the Pacifc Northwest, which is cloudy and yields 3.5 hours of sunshine per day on average. With this level of cloudiness, we spec between 3.1 watts of solar per  square foot (for a 2,500-square-foot house) to 4.8 watts per square foot (for a 1,000-square-foot house) to achieve net zero.

Does a net-zero house have batteries?

Not necessarily. A net-zero house does not need batteries because the house is tied to the electricity grid. Because net-zero houses are often all electric, a battery is a good idea if your area has power outages. You can also keep a generator for these eventualities.

Does a net-zero home cost more to build?

Yes. A net-zero house has to include solar panels to generate energy.

Why isn’t every home net zero?

A net-zero house is very, very well insulated to ensure that only a small amount of energy is needed to heat or cool the house. Not many houses are well enough insulated to be cost-effectively net zero, although you can always add more solar panels. Importantly, a net-zero house must have the means to produce energy, which is often solar panels. There must be enough roof space to locate solar panels, and the panels need to be installed.

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Talk to us about your home-building ideas today.