Location: Garretson, S.D.
Price: see below
Square footage: N/A
Republican South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard built this energy-efficient house himself. In an address to the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Daugaard described taking inspiration from President Jimmy Carter’s 1977 fireside chat mentioning the need for energy efficiency.
In the ’80s while Daugaard worked as a banker by day, he built the house on the family farmstead on nights and weekends. It cost about a cost of about $60,000 at the time, and during the nine-month building process, Dennis and his wife, Linda, lived with his parents.
The home’s walls are “super insulated” at 13 inches thick. The home uses a heat pump water heater, which cools and dehumidifies. Instead of dumping heat outside, it channels the heat in the water heater. The structure has no west-facing windows to avoid heat buildup during hot summer days, and has only one north window “because that’s an energy loser.”
Most of the home’s windows face south. The home’s overhang is designed for its latitude, so that the low-hanging winter sun comes in house in winter, while in summer the overhang shades it.