John Kosmer: Passive Solar Designer and Builder

By Staff
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John Kosmer 

Designer and builder of the “Kosmer Solar House Project,” a passive solar house that garnered extensive print and online media attention.  In 2008 his team built a 4000-square-foot home for under $115 per square foot. The house’s heating costs average $1000 a year in the cold North East snow-belt region just outside of Cooperstown, N.Y.

He now lives in this home and looks forward to building a newly designed home for under $150 per square foot that will annually produce more energy than it uses, enabling the homeowner to sell the excess energy back to the grid. Called the “Zero Energy Plus Solar House Project,” he is looking forward to an improved homebuilding environment that will help this project to move forward. He hopes that when completed, it can capture the imagination of the American public and provide a building template for 21st century homes.  

“In our collapsed home-building market, many new and existing homes are losing value. In the 21st century, with rising energy costs, new homes that annually produce more energy than they use will become increasingly valuable.” 

The Home Improvement Editor of Victorian Homes for 23 years, he has also worked with major magazines and the Sunday NY Daily News that featured home renovation stories and projects he has completed. 

John Kosmer is a founding member of Sustainable Otsego, in Otsego County, N.Y. Sustainable Otsego promotes sustainable practices including energy efficiency, conservation, local food and commerce production and distribution. When the Marcellus natural gas region rush began, Sustainable Otsego joined a coalition of groups in NYS to stop the dangerous practice of horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) gas drilling operations. The coalition’s efforts, allied with others, culminated in both the NYS Assembly and NYS Senate voting to have a moratorium on horizontal gas drilling operations. Governor David Patterson issued an executive order to halt these operations at least until July 2011, so the matter could be more fully examined. Sustainable Otsego continues to push for a suspension of any natural gas drilling operations until the technology matures and can be demonstrated to be safe.