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The dawn of a new age and the passing of the torch. The 3.9 second Italian 10-cylinder Lamborghini gives way to the 3.9 second all-electric American Tesla. This shot was taken at the Mount Vernon Project site overlooking the Potomac River with the same view that its neighbor to the left George Washington has had for over 200 years. From horses to gas to all-electric in the same period. Capturing the American spirit for freedom and innovation wrapped as one: Tesla!

Even though the Mount Vernon Project (MVP) will be located in Mount Vernon, Virginia, on George Washington’s original farm, it is not affiliated with George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.

The MVP mission is 2-fold: (1) to demonstrate a more efficient lifestyle with respect to energy and resource conservation so that our country can free itself from its dependence upon foreign oil, and (2) to motivate this generation of America’s youth by providing a free summer boot camp to teach Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as well as, health, nutrition, and personal finance.

In order to achieve the MVP mission’s first objective, that of energy independence, energy and resources must be conserved at all levels. MVP uses methods and devices to effect this conservation at the individual residence level as well as larger structures. These systems and techniques can be implemented to the extent practical on a case by case basis. Certifications or compliance are sought for standards including Passive House, NAHB Emerald Green (National Association of Home Builders), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum (less the size deduction since currently only commercial structures are not penalized), and Energy Star (US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy).

MVP will be situated on 2-1/4 acres on the Potomac River approximately 1000 feet south of George Washington’s Estate and Gardens at 9325 Ludgate DR, Alexandria, VA 22309-2741 in Mount Vernon, Virginia. It is in the County of Fairfax.

One of the MVP goals is to generate more energy than it consumes; an energy-plus- house. In order to achieve this goal, the house will be constructed using ICF (insulated concrete form) helping to insure integrity of the thermal envelope. Southeast orientation takes advantage of passive solar heating while the northwestern portion of the structure is mostly protected by the 77-foot river bank elevation. The year long constant ground source temperature of 59°F (15°C) is conducted by the concrete of the ICF structure throughout the thermal envelope. The ICF insulation on either side of the concrete insures adequate thermal gradients together with moisture and vapor barriers for dew point management. The following systems work together to reduce the structure’s environmental energy requirement: (1) large thermal mass thermally coupled to the ground source, (2) integrity of the thermal envelope, (3) moisture control, and (4) southeastern solar collection and northwestern protection during the winter months and southeastern solar protection and northwestern cooling during the summer months. Lighting energy requirements would be reduced by ample use of day-lighting techniques such as sky lights, open spaces, solar tubes. LED (light emitting diodes) lamps are specified throughout.

On site electrical generation will be through the use of solar panels and vertical axis wind turbines. Connection to the grid will serve as an energy reservoir and as a source of income from sales of excess energy to the local utility company, Dominion Virginia Power. It is noted that the revolutionary totally electric car (number 468) by Tesla Motors was delivered on 20 JUN 09. It takes less than $4 of electricity to put 200 miles of power into the car, about 2 cents per mile; less if provided by MVP’s panels or turbines. Current battery pricing and technology adds 20 cents per mile, only to go lower. The Federal Government provides a $7500 tax credit. Some states provide more incentives, currently Virginia appears not to do so.

A minimum of 100k gallons per year of water (local area rainfall is 42” per year) is sought to be harvested practically eliminating city water dependence. Currently weather data is being gathered on the site and can be found below.

With respect to the MVP mission’s second objective, that of motivating our youth, this generation must see the excitement of the challenges ahead. Most STEM-motivated adults today were motivated by the space program, to put a man on the moon. Then came the personal computer revolution and then the Internet. That was then. What is now? The good news is that now is even more exciting, if you can believe it. Why? Because whether you are dealing with outer space or cyberspace, it is still “space,” that is, you still cannot touch, see or feel or even smell it.

If that shortcoming was not enough, back then, there was no real motivation other than to beat another country and to be the first. Today’s youth have a real motivator: save America! Our country is in a real financial mess and sending trillions of dollars overseas to folks that do not have our best interests in mind, is not good, and cannot be sustained. We need to put Americans back to work with good-paying jobs with a future. Putting our innovative genius to work to solve these energy challenges, to build energy-efficient buildings, to be able to touch and feel and see and actually live inside the technological solution is a far cry from space. How many Americans have actually been in space and for how long? Yet today’s youth, fired up with a real challenge, a necessary challenge, can literally save America and the American way and enjoy living inside and outside their creations. Creations that will last for many years. Creations that dynamically save energy and resources and the environment and one’s finances all at the same time, every minute of every day. So you see, this is MVP’s real mission, to motivate today’s generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to solve the biggest threat ever to the American way of life. All of us are depending upon them, and I know they will do it!

Weather Underground PWS KVAALEXA20

John A. McEwan, MSEE

Technology Advancement Group
®, Inc.

Mount Vernon Project

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The Mount Vernon Project
As Seen From Above The Potomac River

MVP Sponsorship Program

Those interested in participating in the MVPSP request access at

Passive House

The principles governing Passive House design go a long way in achieving an energy-plus-house. Unlike a zero energy building (ZEB) or net zero energy building, energy-plus-houses generate more energy from renewable sources than it consumes.  For a structure to be Passive House compliant it must be very well insulated and its thermal envelope very air tight.

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Tesla: The Future is here!

On Saturday morning, 20 JUN 09, the day before Father’s Day, a brand new Tesla Roadster, the 468th Tesla built was delivered to my home in Mount Vernon, VA. It was the dawn of a new age. This was an experience that is forever forged in my brain. Like the first horseless carriage or the first radio or first television or the advent of the personal computer, fax machine, cell phone, or even the Internet itself, this totally electric car free from having to run to a gas station, free from burning anything, free from noise and smell, free as a bird, represents the fundamental paradigm shift that will define the 21st century.

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Contact: John A. McEwan
Phone: 703-889-1608
Email: john.mcewan@tag.com

© 2008-2015 John A. McEwan. All rights reserved.

The marks MOUNT VERNON PROJECT and MVP are trademarks of Technology Advancement Group, Inc. All other marks are owned by their respective owners.