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2017 Challenge Participant:

Wolfworks - Lewis Residence

Applicant: Paul & Louise Lewis

Project Address: Ravine Road, Mansfield, CT 06268

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: TBD

Builder Website: www.https://www.homesthatfit.com/

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Wolfworks - Lewis Residence project in Mansfield, CT.

General Project Overview:

Designing and Building “Just Right” for High Performance and Affordability

The Lewis home built in Mansfield aims to achieve high performance and affordability by integrating today’s most advanced building practices with lessons from the beloved New England farmhouse style. The home is designed and built to measure up to the rigorous Passive House standard. This design and construction method requires 80% less energy for heating and cooling than homes of the past. Just as impressively it provide levels of comfort, health, durability, and energy security that can only be achieved when you build to and “bake in" this level of home performance. Beyond being a great place to live, this home is envisioned to play its part in responding to our urgent environmental and energy challenges.

When you achieve this level of energy performance it becomes easy to balance all the buildings energy needs with solar energy. By designing to optimize “free gains” from the sun in the winter and adding a solar photovoltaic system to provide all the energy the home needs on an annual basis this home will have no energy expense each year, now and always. It is a “net zero energy” home.

Inspired by New England farmhouses the form and exterior style are simple and familiar. With a living area of just over 1600SF this three bedroom home makes the most of every space simply and smartly. The home is made modern by the open south facing living space, with large windows open to rural views doing double duty providing free solar heat. With a master suite on the first floor and the south facing upstairs bedroom serving as an office the UConn biology professors who will call this home have all they need, including the ability to walk or ride their bikes to work. The home was designed and built to provide lasting beauty, feature enduring craft, and from the start will have low energy use baked in. And with all these features, by keeping it small and simple, the budget was kept manageable.

Barefoot comfort is made possible by thick walls and tight construction. This means less energy is required to heat and cool the space, which is easily accomplished with a small, high efficiency mini-split heat pump. Constant fresh air from a balanced heat recovery ventilation system assures better health. Hot water is produced efficiently by a heat pump water heater.

Wolfworks vision is: “Better home. Better life. Better Planet.” Wolfworks mission is to provide the design and construction experience needed to build and remodel comfortable homes with lasting beauty and craft that respond to the environmental challenges of the twenty first century. The aim is to make homes like this more common.

Orientation and Envelope:

  • Orientation: The home is oriented 15 degrees east of true south to strike a balance between desirable views and optimal solar access.

  • Envelope: Built on a slab insulated with R-24 EPS insulation and thermally isolated from the perimeter foundation, the double stud R-50 walls have a 2” polyiso foam sandwich between the inner and outer batt insulated frames and rainscreen clapboard cladding. The R-70 loose fill cellulose attic insulation completes the thermal boundary which is completely air sealed and achieved an air tightness of 0.4 ACH50.

  • Windows: The windows and doors are Schuco tilt turn triple glazed U-Value of 0.13 with south facing glazing optimized for solar gain and shaded to avoid summer gains.

Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water:

  • Air-Source Heat Pump: Heating and Cooling are provided by a 18 KBTU Mistubishi ducted minisplit system

  • Domestic Hot Water: Water heating is provided via an 80 gallon Bradford White Heat Pump Water Heater.


  • Ventilation: Balanced ventilation is provided by a Zehnder ComfoAir 350 Heat Recovery Ventilator.


  • Electrical: All lights are LED. Appliances are Energy Star certified. The dryer is a Samsung Heat Pump dryer.


  • Renewables: A 6.024 KW Solar Array is installed on the south facing roof and provides 103% of the estimated annual energy for the entire home.
Website by: 505 Creative Services, Guilford CT  |  www.505Creative.com
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