Winners of Fourth Annual CT Zero Energy Challenge Announced
Posted: Mar 28, 2014
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (March 28, 2014) – Energize Connecticut with its utility partners, Eversource Energy and The United Illuminating Company, have named five winners of the fourth annual Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC), a statewide design/build competition for single and multi-family homes. This year’s competition featured 11 homes from across the state built between June 1, 2012 and December 1, 2013.
The ZEC challenges participants to construct high-efficiency homes that consume little to no energy and awards the winners with cash prizes. RESNET Rating Standards are used to determine each home's HERS Index (Home Energy Rating Score), a nationally-recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance (the lower the number, the more energy efficient the home; a score of zero represents a net zero energy home).
“From organic farms to a multi-family housing authority, this year’s challenge saw the largest number and most diverse range of participants in the history of the challenge,” said Jamie Howland of ENE (Environment Northeast) and Chairperson, Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board. “We also saw the lowest HERS Index ever. This year’s participants demonstrated that designing and building super high-efficiency residences that reduce energy use and energy bills, as well as deliver the comfort that a typical home provides, is more achievable than ever.”
Competing builders and architects implement energy-saving features into the home’s design to increase energy performance and lower its HERS Index. The project’s cost effectiveness and the home's total estimated operating costs are also used to determine the winners in each category.
Winners were recognized during a special ceremony on March 27 at The Inn at Middletown.
Overall Winner: Spalla/Randich Residence, Farmington
Homeowners: Lisa Spalla and Michael Randich
Built to Passive House standards, this home features a “heavy down coat” of insulations and is designed to maximize solar gain and minimize air leakage. “I’ve followed the Zero Energy Challenge from its inception,” said winner Mike Randich. “It sparked my interest in ‘passive homes’ and allowed me to get smarter on building a home that uses little to no energy. It also helped me connect with a builder that was able to bring this idea to life for me.” Although the home did not win any specific category, its performance in all four categories was high. The home tied with the Griffiths home creating two Overall Winners for this challenge.
To find out more about the Spalla/Randich Residence, by clicking here.
Overall Winner: Griffiths Residence, Killingly
Homeowners: Susan and David Griffiths
Designer/Builder: Lehto Design Build
On a large, working farm, the Griffiths residence aesthetically fits the landscape yet features the high efficiency design and technology that makes it an overall high performer. “When my husband and I first thought about building an energy efficient home, I was skeptical,” said winner Susan Griffiths. “I didn’t think it would be possible to build a home that was efficient, had character, and felt comfortable. Now that I have, I wouldn’t do anything differently—it’s a beautiful home that utilizes energy-saving and renewable technologies and design features. I don’t think anyone would realize our home is net zero.” The airtight, durable home is heated with two air source heat pumps and features a heat pump water heater. The electricity the farm does need is provided by a photovoltaic system
Learn more about the Griffiths Residence in Killingly by clicking here.
Lowest Home Energy Rating Score without Renewable Technology: Trolle Residence, Danbury
Designer/Builder: BPC Green Builders
Built to Passive House standards, this home is designed to maximize solar gain and features large amounts of insulation combined with high performance windows. The tight construction of this modest home allows it to be heated by a single air-source heat pump. In addition, the previous home was demolished with sustainability in mind and a number of original features were incorporated into the new home.
Learn more about the Trolle Residence, by clicking here.
Lowest Home Energy Rating Score Index and Lowest Annual Operating Cost: Renaissance Farms, Warren
Designer: CK Architects Builder: J & P Building and Remodeling LLC
This New England farmhouse incorporates high efficiency building techniques and technologies with a photovoltaic system resulting in a HERS rating of -34. Built on a working organic farm, this zero net energy home makes this a truly sustainable property.
Learn more about the Renaissance Farms, by clicking here.
Most Affordable Project (cost per square foot): Singer Estate
Designer/Builder: Brookside Development
The team at Brookside Development designed and built this high efficiency model home to fit into the current estate property featuring a large, stone home.
Learn more about the Singer Estate, by clicking here.
The Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge is now seeking participants for its 2014 challenge. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2014. If interested in applying, If interested, visit www.ctzeroenergychallenge.com for more information.
About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy –saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.