2015 Challenge Participant:

Torcellini Residence

Applicant: Paul Torcellini

Project Address: 76 Weeks Road, Eastford, CT 06242

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: 3 BD - 3,597 sq ft

Project Team Project Overview Project Specifications Project Photos

Designer:  Paul Torcellini

The owner is a Principal Engineer for National Renewable Energy Laboratory and served as the designer and general contractor for the project.  The goal was to create a modest home in a traditional style that would have superior energy performance.  Care was taken to log all expenses and to classify the expenses as homeowner desires or pieces critical to the energy performance of the home.  This documentation should help future home owners and builders seeking to build zero energy homes.

Builder:  Davis Contracting of Oxford, MA

Phil Davis is the owner of Davis Contracting and paid close attention the details of the project, especially those that impacted the energy performance.  Phil provided services for framing, installing windows and doors, as well as the siding and exterior finish work. It was critical that detail be followed to ensure that the envelope was water and air tight.

Excavation:  Eastern Construction, Eastford, CT

Eastern construction provided services for all site work including septic system, foundation, and final grading.  Extra care was taken to use existing materials on-site and not to export materials from the site including much of the excess rock.  Top soil remained on-site and was sifted for final grading.  Grades were designed to shed water from the foundation.

Roofing:  Bradford Standing Seam, Woodstock, CT

Bradford Standing Seam provides a high quality metal roof that will last for many years.  In addition, the roof allows for collection of rainwater without chemicals or debris from traditional roofing materials.  The standing seam makes it easy to attach solar panels.  The long life also means that solar panels will not need to be removed in order to replace the roofing. 

Plumbing Supplier:  Willimantic Winnelson, Willimantic, CT

The staff at Willimantic Winnelson provided superb customer service in selecting state of the art equipment and plumbing systems.  This included hot water systems and much of the plumbing and radiant floor system used in the house. 

Heating & Hot Water System:  Sanden

The air-to-water heat pump hot water heater was manufactured by Sancor. New to the United States, this unit has been used in Australia and has very high COPs (approaching a COP of 4) for producing space heating hot water and a high EF for domestic hot water. 

Air Conditioning System: Hometown Heating, Brooklyn, CT

A Mitsubishi mini-split heat pump was selected to augment the radiant floors and to provide dehumification and cooling. The one-ton unit was selected for high efficiency compared to larger units (SEER of 26).

Insulation Contractor: Collins and Company, Tolland, CT

Collins and Company provided complete air sealing for the house, as well as, blown-in fiberglass in walls, cathedral ceiling, and a roof for a minimum of R-50 on all surfaces. A breathable air barrier was used on the interior to provide additional sealing.

Solar Photovoltaics:  Summer Hill Solar, Woodstock, CT

Brenden Owens of Summer Hill Solar designed a 9.4 kW PV system that was easy to install on the standing seam metal roof.  4 strings of panels are attached to independent MPPT controllers on two inverters. In addition, there are 2 15-amp emergency outlets that can be used for power interuptions when the utility-grid is not operating.

Wood Flooring:  Wilson Woodworks of Tolland, CT

Wilson Woodworks manufactures high quality custom flooring.  For this project, scrap pieces from other projects were used to produce the entire floor for the house.  Not only were extra’s used, but native white oak was used for the species selection.

HERS Rater:  Steven Winter Associates of Norwalk, CT

The firm’s expertise in energy analysis, building science, and sustainable material/system recommendations enables it to support certification under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR for Homes rating system Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home Challenge, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) programs.  SWA’s reputation is built from 42+ years of experience offering clients leading edge technology, research, and development. Ultimately, their work is about creating buildings that consume less and deliver more.

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