New Home: Architectural Design & Construction
Nobska Road: Woods Hole, MA
“Net Zero Energy” Home
This new home is designed and constructed to have an annual energy cost of $0.00. It will generate enough energy from on-site renewable resources to meet the energy demands of operating the home including heating, cooling and electrical loads. This is called a “net zero energy home.” INTEGRATA achieved this by designing the home so that it will require only a fraction of the energy that a typical code-built house would need.
How did we accomplish this? Through meticulously sealing all air leaks and penetrations at the building envelope (walls, roof, basement); providing the proper amount of insulation; and designing a mechanical system that is extremely energy efficient and properly sized (not over-sized) to adequately heat, cool and generate hot water for the homeowners. Plus, windows with very low U-values were selected for optimum energy performance.
In addition to the energy efficient aspects of the building shell design, there are many interior features that contribute to resource conservation and a healthy environment:
Most of the light fixtures utilize LED lights with the remainder being fluorescent fixtures. This dramatically reduces the electrical loads while also reducing the cooling demand since these lights radiate very little heat. As a result, the mechanical system can be much smaller to satisfy the reduced cooling load.
The toilets are all dual flush models which utilize 21% less water than standard flush toilets.
Energy Star Rated Appliances
All the appliances are Energy Star rated for reduced energy consumption.
Indoor Air Quality
When building a house as tight as this, it is imperative to make sure that a healthy indoor air quality is maintained. The first line of defense here is to try not to introduce products, materials and furnishings into the home that have high levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). Paints and finishes applied to the walls and trim are all low- or zero-VOC products, which help to minimize or eliminate odors when they off-gas as well as reducing the likelihood of developing respiratory conditions and other health ailments. Since this house is so tight, outside air does not infiltrate as much as it would in a typical house so we have installed an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) which automatically brings in fresh outside air and exhausts stale inside air while extracting the heat from the inside air prior to being exhausted. This equipment ensures the elimination, or at least dilution, of any interior pollutants while continuously delivering fresh outside air to the interior spaces.
The sustainably harvested yellow birch floor was finished with a 100% waterborne product certified by GREENGUARD Environmental Institute as VOC compliant. Bathroom, Laundry and Mudroom areas have Marmoleum flooring selected for its high durability and its renewable material composition, which includes linseed oil, wood flour, rosin, jute and finely ground limestone. It is hygienic, anti-static and completely biodegradable.
Permeable pave stones were used in the driveway to allow natural leaching of rainwater back into underground aquifers and to minimize storm water runoff and erosion. Non-native plantings were removed from the site and replaced with indigenous plantings.