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Hidden Assets

Posted by Matt Power

Dec 1, 2013 3:14:00 PM

2013 Green Home of the Year Awards
Best Mainstream Green - Thaxton, Va.

This modest home doesn’t shout out its many green virtues, but they’re built into its bones.

WITH A HERS Index of 38, the 1,808-square-foot Specht Home is a certified PHIUS+  Passivhaus,  also built to EarthCraft Virginia standards—“a small ecological footprint” built on a 20-acre site.

Adam Cohen, co-owner of Structures Design/Build and a Passivhaus practitioner, showed the Spechts that “ongoing utility bill savings would offset any added mortgage payment for financing the modest $17,000 increase in upfront construction cost.” Total energy costs average $40 a month.Specht House

The home is an airtight, super-insulated envelope (R-39 walls, R-60 roof and foundation over four inches of EPS) with mechanical energy recovery ventilation, no thermal breaks, optimized solar design, smart passive strategies and high-performance windows (R-7) and doors. It also has a passive ground loop and solar hot water.

Now with a year of actual performance data, there is a mere 1.18 percent variation from the home’s actual predicted performance. Predicted was 15.02 kWh/day; actual use is 15.2 kWh/day.

VIEW INTERACTIVE IMAGE

 

Passivhaus Floor Plan

  • Specht Passivhaus Exterior

    Project Stats

    Name: The Specht Home, Thaxton, VA
    Builder/developer: Adam Cohen of Structures Design/BuildPhotos: Jim Stroup Photography


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  • Specht Home

    Eco-Kitchen

    In the kitchen, low-flow faucets conserve water; CFL and LED lighting save energy. Evacuated-tube solar thermal collectors heat enough water to supply most of the home's demands (apart from space heating).

  • Specht Home Living Room Passivhaus

    Air Control

    While traditional in its floorplan and interior styling, this inviting 1,808-square-foot home is built very tight, wtih an energy recorvery ventilator, Energy Star appliances, and ample daylighting.

  • Specht Passivhaus Bedroom

    Green Behind the Scenes

    The home is an airtight, super-insulated envelope (R-39 walls, R-60 roof and foundation over four inches of EPS) with mechanical energy recovery ventilation, no thermal breaks, optimized solar design, and smart passive strategies. With a HERS Index of 38, this home is a certified PHIUS+ Passivhaus, also built to EarthCraft Virginia standards.

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