I find it important for all of us at Home Selling Team to get out occasionally as a group to preview a particularly unique property, a piece of raw land pending development or a new trend in home construction that could bring value to our seller & buyer clients. I have blogged in the past about an energy efficient geo thermal home that Corey Krohn, owner of Green Building Solutions, built on Jerusalem Road in Windham CT. See Krohn post here.
If you are familiar with the “Not So Big House” concept it is essentially building a smaller sized home, maximizing useable space, and spending a larger portion of your construction costs on quality materials and energy efficiency. These homes often cost more per square foot to build initially but will provide dramatic savings in the long term on heating, cooling and energy costs. And you will have the prestigious position of being the smallest carbon footprint in the neighborhood!
We recently had the opportunity to visit with Richard Sherman, the owner of Appropriate Designs, Green Design & Build, who designed a new home for Faith Robinson on 37 Robinson Hill Road in Franklin. Richard designed the home for the owner is managing the construction going forward.
This energy efficient and uniquely designed home boasts just under 1,700 square feet and is visually a work of art with its curved walls and roof, open floor plan, exquisite windows and a sense of spaciousness for a smaller 2-bedroom home.
This home will provide maximum energy efficiency and will require no use of fossil fuels with the following technical specifications as described in the open house literature:
• The envelope of the house is composed of 10.25″ EPS Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) for the walls (R-40) and 12.25″ SIPS for the roof (R-48) provided by Branch River Plastics, Inc. Two inches of polyisocyanate board stock insulation mechanically fastened to the top of the roof panels creates an R value above 60 for the entire roof assembly. For the purposes of heat loss calculations 40 degrees Fahrenheit was utilized as the benchmark.
• A 90 mil EPDM membrane fully adhered to the ½” protection board on top of the roof assembly provides moisture protection from the elements. The two lower roof s will eventually possess a vegetative cover bedded in 4” to 6” of site specific growth medium.
• The Architectural grade glulam beams and bowed rafters from Unadilla (supported by built-up wood columns) support the roof along the southern tier of rooms. SIP panels, interior load bearing walls and built-up woods beams provide the structural support along the northern tier of rooms.
• The bowed (curved) roof and north wall panels demonstrate the flexibility inherent in both the laminated beam and SIP panel technology.
• High efficiency envelopes require effective air sealing measures. Particular attention was paid to sealing all panel joints with OSB splines, sealant caulk and tape on the interior of roof panel joints. Penetrations in the panels (electrical boxes and wire chases) were sealed with expandable foam insulation. The ductwork in the basement was carefully sealed and insulated and will be tested for air leakage efficiency.
• Four inches of ESP board stock insulation (1.5lbs per ft3 density) was placed under the basement concrete slab. Insulation was planned for but not placed on the inside of the concrete walls due to budgetary considerations. R-30 blown insulation will be installed in the basement ceiling cavity.
• Windows are Bieber wood/wood triple pane units that meet Passive Haus standards for U value, air sealing, SHGC, VT performance levels. The glazing is Low E II with argon gas. R value is 7.00.
Richard Sherman designed and built the Ashford CT home that won the CT Zero Energy Challenge 2010-2011 contest for the most energy efficient building envelope.
More information on this project and his other award winning projects can be found at Richard Sherman’s website: Appropriate Designs.