New Home: Property Planning + Architectural Design + Construction Management
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. 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 that utilize 21% less water than standard flush toilets.
Energy Star Rated Appliances
All the appliances are Energy Star rated for reduced energy consumption.
Low- or Zero-VOC Paints
Paints and finishes applied to the walls and trim are all low- or zero-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) products, which help to minimize or eliminate odors when they off-gas as well as reduce the risk of respiratory conditions and other health ailments.
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.
Actual energy performance results obtained from data loggers and energy monitoring software have shown that the home has already exceeded expectations. The graph below illustrates the comparison between energy usage and energy production between April 2014 and October of 2015. This home consistently generates a surplus of electrical energy, and as of October 2015, the electric meter read -5600 kWHr.
This home received a 5 Star+ Home Energy Rating by a certified Home Energy Rater and was recognized by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod as the 2014 Best Innovative Green Design Open Category.