The house was designed by the homeowners and built by Glastonbury Housesmith - which constructed the first LEED certified Gold house in Connecticut. The main goals were to build a durable, energy-efficient, and healthy home. The home is a reflection of the homeowners' desire to try to substantially reduce their impact on the world which will affect our children, grandchildren, and all future generations.
Building a durable home which lasts is much better for the environment than rebuilding every several decades because of a failing structure. To meet the durability goal, the house was constructed to meet the most up-to-date residential building codes (2012 IRC, 2012 IECC) rather than those which are required in CT (2003 IRC, 2009 IECC). The most notable requirements of the new codes are a stronger structure to withstand high hurricane winds and exterior insulation outside of the wall sheathing to prevent condensation, and subsequently mold/rot, within the walls.
Using energy most typically means extracting and using fossil fuels which each have a negative impact on the environment. Obtaining the fossil fuels means disrupting the natural setting and digging or drilling which leads to water and air pollution. To reduce the home's energy needs and meet the homeowners' energy efficiency goals, the house has been designed and constructed to achieve LEED, NGBS, EnergyStar, and DOE Zero Energy Ready residential standards. The success of the design and construction efforts was verified by third-party review and on-site testing.
The air quality within a home can have a notable impact on its occupants. While an energy efficient home needs to be as airtight as possible, the lack of air leaks can result in a home with poor indoor air quality as a result of both building materials and occupant activities. To meet the homeowners' healthy home goals, the house was constructed with many low-VOC, GreenGuard-certified components such as insulation, drywall, joint compound, and wood finishes. Additionally, energy recovery ventilation was installed with dedicated ducts to remove the commonly most troublesome air (humid air in bathrooms) and supply pre-conditioned fresh air to the home.
Builder: ROBERT DYKINS, GLASTONBURY HOUSESMITH
Alternative Building Systems: Thermomass System CIP foundation; FOAMGLAS insulation
Appliances: All EnergyStar rated - including new to the market HEAT PUMP CLOTHES DRYER (Whirlpool)
Building Envelope: Thermomass' System CIP foundation; Huber's Zip Wall sheathing with Structural 1 rating (made in USA)
Central Vac: Cana-Vac's LS650
Automotive: Electric car charging outlets for both parking spots
Countertops: Cambria (Made in the USA)
Decks: Nyloboard's Nyloporch decking made from recycled carpet fibers (made in USA)
Door/Hardware: Johnson Hardware's excellent pocket door and bifold door hardware (made in USA)
Exterior Finishes: James Hardie's Hardiplank siding; Boral's TruExterior trim
Fire Protection: Uponor's fire sprinkler system integrated into the domestic cold-water plumbing
Fireplace: Kozy Heat's Z42 wood burning fireplace with sealed combustion so that all combustion air comes from outside through a dedicated duct instead of using indoor, conditioned air (made in USA)
Flooring: hardwood flooring throughout from the trees cut-down to clear the location for the house
Garage Doors: Clopay's Coachman garage doors with 2" of polyurethane insulation
Insulation: Thermomass' System CIP foundation walls (R20); FOAMGLAS under slab (R17); Owens Corning's PROPINK L77 blown-in fiberglass in wall stud bays (R24); Roxul's Comfortboard IS between sheathing and siding (R11); 5" of Icynene's Proseal closed-cell foam and 6.5" of Owens Corning's PROPINK L77 blown-in fiberglass in rafter bays (R58)
HVAC/Ducts: Waterfurnace Series 7 geothermal system with ductwork completely within conditioned space
Landscaping: Drought-tolerant grasses and plantings
Lighting: Exclusively LED lighting inside and outside of the home. Specific LED light bulbs selected for the fixtures based on low-flicker - which unfortunately is not listed in the lighting facts on the bulb boxes. Required much research.
Paints and Stains: Benjamin Moore's low-VOC Aura paints; Monocoat's zero-VOC wood finish; Waterlox's tung oil floor finish
Plumbing/Plumbing Fixtures: Uponor's PEX piping (hot water piping was pre-insulated at the factory) with hot water recirculation system and cold water integrated fire sprinkler system
Renewable Energy Systems (solar, wind, etc.): 13.8-kW, dual-axis rotating solar PV array by GMI Solar using SunPower's X21 panels
Roof: Classic Metal Roofing Systems' Slate Rock Oxford aluminum roofing shingles and Clicklock standing seam roofing; expected 75+ year lifespan
Telecommunications: Belden's high-quality, made in USA, Ethernet Cat6 and coax wiring throughout house to future-proof video and Internet
Ventilation: VVenmar's AVS E15 ECM ERV
Water Heating: AO Smith's heat pump hot water heater (2.75 EF) with water pre-heated by the geothermal desuperheater
Waste Management: On-demand hot water recirculation; all three footing drains are run to daylight; true waterproofing applied to the exterior of the foundation; Raven's VaporBlock Plus 20-mil plastic sheeting (not the typical 6-mil) installed under basement slab to eliminate moisure and radon rising through slab
Windows/Skylights/Patio Doors: Marvin's Clad Ultimate Double-Hung with Tripane, tempered glass