The market was asking for something a little bigger than what we typically design with a zero energy home. So in partnership with The Richter Group, we are going up to 2,500 square feet. This house, the modified colonial is a 4BR, 3BA, 2,500SF super insulated structure that was completed in the summer of 2016!
Here’s a little bit more about this project. Stayed tuned for updates on this project and contact Melissa Richter at The Richter Group for more information on Energy Efficient building with The Richter Group!
Context: Let’s bring Net-Zero to the everyday homeowner. This is the second home built on a piece of property that was inhumanely harvested. In order to give back to the land and provide something really meaningful, this home was built as part of a net-zero micro development. Net-Zero 1 is a classic farmhouse with a modern twist while this home is a full 2 story colonial with all the classic trim details that give it a New England flair. Maine has some really classic design styles and we wanted to stay true to some classic features while keeping it simple, modern, up to date, and cost effective!
Conclusion: The orientation of this house is key to having a successful project. The south sun will pour into the low windows in the winter and is shaded by a more contemporary rustic style rear overhang. The walls are double wall construction giving that old deep window sill feeling. Again they are low the the ground so you feel like you are a part of the outdoors from the inside. This property is meant to be enjoyed and these houses make you feel like you are living among the outdoors.
Energy Efficiency: Net-Zero means that at the end of the year you produced more energy then you used. In this house it works in a number of different ways. First, the building envelop is tight and super insulated and the house is oriented for optimal solar exposure. This is the hardest thing to go back and fix after the fact, so we feel that this should be done right from the beginning. It’s not passive house, we hope to have an air infiltration rate between 1-2 ACH. This is a really comfortable number while the HRV works to provide more then enough fresh air to get rid of excess moisture and contaminants. So air tightness is number one, followed by super insulated walls, foundations, and ceilings. And then the right type of ventilation is key. It’s so incredibly important to ventilate these super tight houses, but it’s also important that the mechanicals are simple and easy to use. Your home should be simple, easy, and effective.
Now, I say we call these houses Net-Zero because they truly have the potential to be net positive. However, every house is completely dependent on the occupants. We can control the performance of the structure, but it comes down to how every individual lives as to whether or not net-zero is achievable!