2013 Challenge Participant:

Michalski Residence

Applicant: Thaddeus Michalski

Project Address: Berlin, CT

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: TBD

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Michalski Residence project in Berlin, CT.

General project overview:

Ted Michalski is building a home at 130 Wildermere Road, Berlin, CT.  The home is targeting certification through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Certified Homes v3.0. Preliminary energy modeling indicates a HERS Index of 40.


Special Features:

This custom built, 4,458 sf 4 bedroom home features the best in open-concept design, while incorporating high performance building materials and technology to create an elegant, energy efficient home .  A well-designed envelope, featuring insulating sheathing and superior windows, coupled with a whole house Heat Recover Ventilator, will keep the house healthy and comfortable.  Space heating and cooling will be provided by a geothermal heat pump system. 


Orientation and Envelope: (windows, insulation, framing)

  • The foundation wall will be insulated with R-10 rigid insulation on interior of the basement wall and R-10 under the slab.  
  • The R-26 above grade wood stud wall has a cavity filled with cellulose along with R-5 rigid insulation to reduce thermal bridging.
  • The ceiling is insulated with 16” of cellulose (R-59).
  • A good air sealing strategy will be implemented, and rater insulation inspection will verify this. A low 4 ACH50 infiltration rate is targeted.
  • Windows will be double pane and low-e, demonstrated by specs meeting ENERGY STAR standards (U<0.30, SHGC<0.31).
  • Overhangs on south glazing


Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water:

  • The home will be heated and cooled by a ground source heat pump system with a very efficient COP of 4.5 and EER of 24.
  • The ducts will be carefully air sealed in order to meet the strict standard of ENERGY STAR v3.0, and will be insulated where they are not in the conditioned envelope. The mechanical space is inside the conditioned space. When the systems have been selected, Manual J and D calculations will ensure proper sized equipment has been chosen.
  • Testing after installation will ensure the quality installation of the efficient HVAC equipment.
  • An instant propane domestic hot water heater has a high EF of 0.91.
  • A programmable thermostat will be installed.  



  • An ERV operating at ASHRAE 62.2-2010 minimum requirements will be installed.  Proper installation will be ensured by final testing.



  • ENERGY STAR appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer) will be installed in the home.
  • 90% CFL/LED lighting will be installed.



  • The house is being built to be PV-ready for future installation


Resources Sustainability Features:

  • Low-VOC Paints
  • Formeldahyde  free building materials
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