The house was conceived as a dwelling that would have minimal impact on its surroundings and connect to its adjacent 250 acres of conservation land The owner’s goal was a house of a compact 2,000 square feet that uses Passive House principles to create healthy interiors and a net zero carbon footprint (highly energy efficient and fully powered by on-site renewable energy sources). The house uses the energy equivalent to three light bulbs for annual heating and cooling.
U.S. Department of Energy 2021 Housing Innovation Award They said, “This prestigious national award is an important achievement, representing the most impressive and innovative houses among leading Zero Energy Ready home builders. Your leadership is helping transform the U.S. housing market to provide better homes for our nation, communities, and families. This Housing Innovation award helps us celebrate your success in providing your customers with the best energy efficiency, indoor air quality, comfort, and construction quality.”
National Association of Home Builders, CT Chapter “Best Green Energy-Efficient Custom Home”
Energy efficiency is achieved by a site orientation to maximally harvest the sun’s heat in winter and shade the house from the sun in the summer. Triple glazed widows and 18-inch walls filled with cellulose insulation maintain a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees throughout the year.
The use of an energy recovery ventilation system or ERV, provides fresh air into the house 24 hours, 7 days a week. The system includes filtration that eliminates pollutants including bacteria and some viruses coming into the house.
The house is divided into a public zone which includes kitchen, dining and living room spaces, and a private zone consisting of three bedrooms and two baths. The public zone has full height windows facing south and the forest beyond. This allows both wonderful views and shading from the summer sun.
Passive House Planning Program