For their's is one of only four houses like it in the entire state, built entirely underground, and a model of energy efficiency. The earth is their insulation, keeping it cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. What heat they might need will come from a highly efficient in floor radiant heat system, where water is warmed by boilers powered by solar panels and a yet to be installed wind turbine. The turbine will generate so much electricity that they're selling the excess to the local power company.
Inside, you'd never know you are under 6 feet of earth, as high vaulted ceilings , with energy efficient light bulbs, create a bright environment, boosted further by triple pane windows with krypton, a gas which stays clear when it's cold to let the sun's warmth in, and tints as the temperature rises, to keep it out.
Even the old real estate adage location location location came into play here, because they didn't pick this place by accident. It's strategically located in an area where the Finger Lakes tend to pull clouds south, and Lake Ontario yanks them north Even the lawn is going to be energy efficient. "It's gonna be 'no-mow'," says Fulmer. "It grows about 5 inches tall and stops growing!" But to go green, you need lots of green. Though some of their costs have been offset by state grants and tax credits, Dave figures the cost of this place to be about a half million dollars. But to him it's worth it,...If for no other reason, than the way he feels "I'm not only going to help myself, I'm helping the environment," says Fulmer.