Project Description

This is a four bedroom, two full and one half-bath home that was built for a Taft School faculty family, on a site that adjoins the campus.  A second major goal was to build the home to be an example and tool for the students to learn about green building.

Although it takes time to establish a home’s energy profile, it is expected that this home will achieve its net zero annual energy goal.

Type: New Construction, Custom Green Home


Project Architect: Trillium Architects

Special Features:

  • Design and exterior finishes are historically accurate for the neighborhood
  • Open-concept living layout
  • 5” white oak floors
  • Built-in living room shelving
  • Custom kitchen and bathroom cabinetry
  • En suite master bedroom and bath
  • Finished and fully conditioned basement

Green Building Approaches:

  • Rear of house faces solar south to capture winter heat
  • 406sf of east, south, and west-facing windows capture half of the energy required for space heating
  • 13.1kw PV panels on house and garage should provide more energy than the annual operating needs
  • 8” of EPS rigid foam board insulation under the slab
  • 3” of continuous closed-cell (low GWP) spray foam applied to basement walls
  • 3.5” of dense-pack cellulose between 2×4 studs on interior face of basement walls
  • 2×4 double wall framing to practically eliminate thermal bridging
  • 2” of closed-cell spray foam applied to interior face of exterior wall sheathing
  • Exterior sheathing includes 1” of polyiso rigid foam insulation to further reduce thermal bridging
  • 8.5” of dense-pack cellulose insulation completes exterior wall insulation
  • Attic floor is insulated with 24” of dense-pack cellulose
  • Acrylic sheathing tapes used to achieve exceptional air-tightness of 0.60ACH50
  • European triple-glazed aluminum-clad wood windows with u-values of 0.13 (roughly R-8)
  • Small ducted air-source heat pump heats and cools the entire house
  • No central heating or cooling required
  • Heat pump water heater extracts heat from interior air
  • Energy recovery ventilation has separate small diameter duct distribution system
  • Fiber cement siding installed over a ¾” drainage plane
  • Exterior trim made from recycled fly ash and rated for ground contact
  • 100% LED lighting
  • Low-flow water fixtures throughout