The High Performance House
ADVICE ON HOW TO BUILD OR REMODEL A HOUSE THAT’S AS SMART AS YOU ARE.
By Jennifer Huget
Connecticut Magazine, May 2003
When you go shopping for a builder, you don’t expect to end up talking philosophy. But if Mike Trolle is the builder at hand, you’re likely to spend as much time discussing the principles that guide his work as you are counting closets and square footage. Maybe more.
Trolle’s Ridgefield-based Building Performance Construction Services (BPCS) [Since renamed BPC Green Builders] is one of a handful of companies nationwide that have made energy efficiency and environmental friendliness priorities in building and remodeling homes. But don’t worry: He’s not going to try to talk you into slapping solar-collection panels across your roof or collecting rainwater in a cistern. Trolle’s goal is to integrate the latest, scientifically proven healthy-house technologies into your home in such a way that you’ll hardly know they’re there.
But you’ll know they’re there, he says. You’ll know it every summer day when the air conditioning keeps you comfortably cool without blasting you back into your parka. Every winter morning when the air inside your house feels neither too dry nor too damp. Every time you pay a utility bill, which Trolle’s handiwork can reduce substantially—by more than $1,000 a year, he claims.
And when it comes time to sell, the American Appraisal Institute recently found that for every dollar spent on increased energy efficiency, homeowners realize $20 of increased resale value.
Trolle’s basic precepts are that a house can be both beautiful and energy-efficient, and that thoughtful planning and attention to detail up front will save money—and even heartache—down the road. In creating what he calls “high-performance” houses, Trolle points to one critical consideration: the tight control of the movement of air, heat and moisture in a house. That control, he maintains, sets the stage for comfort, safety, durability and easy maintenance.
Reprinted with the permission of Connecticut Magazine.