2013 Challenge Participant:

Justice Residence - Lehto Design/Build

Applicant: Nick Lehto

Project Address: Burlington, CT

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: TBD

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Justice Residence - Lehto Design/Build project in Burlington, CT.

General project overview:

The Justice residence is a single family 2,969 square foot custom home situated on approximately 4 acres of what was once part of a family owned farm in Burlington. The primary goal of the owners was to demonstrate that a zero energy home can be built economically while also incorporating a traditional design aesthetic. They wanted to build a cost efficient home balancing the use of energy efficient techniques to get the most benefit for their dollar. The home also had to be comfortable and low maintenance. The homeowner, an avid follower of Green Building Advisors, was aware of all the different green building standards like ENERGY STAR®, PassivHaus, LEED, etc. She wanted to build a house that took advantage of as many of these techniques as possible while staying within a strict budget and maximizing the return on investment. She set out to find a like-minded builder and after interviewing multiple builders decided on Lehto Design/Build. Together Noreen Justice and Lehto Design Build came up with the perfect house keeping with the following principles:


Orientation and Envelope:

Take advantage of the sun - Passive solar techniques were employed by orienting the house on an east-west axis allowing most of the main living areas to take advantage of a southern exposure. The southern windows will have high solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) glass to take advantage of the sun’s heat in the winter. A roof overhang will eliminate the sun’s direct glare during the summer months. The northern exterior wall/window exposure was kept to a minimum by situating the master suite behind the garage and eliminating any second floor dormers on the north side.

The following helped achieved the goal of having the best envelope, on a conservative budget. R-22 Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) basement assembly, R-20 slab insulation, R-45 walls, R-68 ceilings and Canadian triple pane fiberglass tilt & turn windows. 

Lehto Design/Build uses advanced framing techniques, 12” double stud 2x4 wall with dense pack cellulose, minimal thermal bridging, and a super sealed building envelope (no can lights below unconditioned space, no fireplace, no range hood, all ducts housed within conditioned space, etc.) to create a high performance envelope.


Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water:

A zoned Mitsubishi air source heat pump (ASHP) system was chosen as an efficient, durable and reliable method of supplying both heating and cooling. The master bath will also have electric radiant heat set in the tile floor.

No fossil fuels burned onsite – The ASHP, electric hot water heater, electric oven, induction cooktop, and electric clothes dryer eliminates the need for fossil fuels. Photovoltaic panels will provide much of the energy needed to supply these appliances.



An Ultimate Air high efficiency Energy Recovery Ventilator (HRV) will supply fresh air to living areas while recovering most of the heat from the exhaust air.  



In order to reduce electrical demand all the lighting will be low wattage CFL or LED bubs, and all appliances will be ENERGY STAR rated.

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