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2011 Challenge Participant:

Appropriate Designs

Applicants: Richard L. Sherman - Builder, Cindy Moeckel & Larry Grasso - Homeowners

Project Address: 79 Amidon Rd., Ashford, CT

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: 3 BD - 1,728 sq ft

Builder Website: www.appropriatedesigns.net

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Appropriate Designs project in Ashford, CT.

Appropriate Designs designed and provided the construction management services for 79 Amidon Rd, Ashford, CT. This Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC) finalist and single family dwelling of 1,728 square feet has a 484 square foot attached garage. It is sited on a well-drained (gravel and sand) rise between two ponds. The house is oriented 17 degrees west of solar south. While surrounded by some open field, the residence is also bordered on the west and south by deciduous tree lines that offer both privacy and aesthetic value but also cause some interference with the sunlight needed for the 4.2kw PV array situated on the lower roof.

The house has three bedrooms and a little over 1,700 sq. ft. of conditioned space. An open floor plan for the public rooms was created to allow deep penetration of day lighting, unimpeded circulation of heated and cooled air, cost containment, and the desire to make a smaller house feel roomy.

The envelope of the house is composed of 6.5" EPS Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS) for the walls and 12.25" SIPS for the roof provided by Foard Panel, Inc. Insulated headers were employed for window and door openings. A single glulam beam (supported by built-up wood columns) reduces the span over the great room.

Particular attention was paid to sealing all panel joints and penetration (electrical boxes and wire chases). Both supply and return ductwork for the second floor is situated in conditioned space. The ductwork in the basement was carefully sealed and insulated.

Two inches of Dow Corning® Blue board insulation was placed under the basement concrete slab. Insulation was planned for but not placed on the inside of the concrete walls due to budgetary considerations. R-30 fiberglass insulation was installed in the basement ceiling cavity.

Windows are Marvin Integrity®, wood Ultrex series clad with pultruded fiberglass. The glazing is Low E II with argon gas. R value is 3.45. Slow expansion foam was injected between the window frame and the framing members of each opening to affect a tight air seal. Solar (south facing) glazing is 7.25 percent of floor area and therefore no additional mass was needed to prevent overheating. Overhang is designed to keep direct sunlight out of the building at noon after June 1st. While the house does have a whole house AC system, window placement took into consideration prevailing breezes to maximize natural cooling opportunities of the site.

The leased 4.2KW PV system was designed and brokered by Alteris. Due to the previously mentioned tree line obstacles and the 4 in 12 roof pitch, some consideration was given to mounting the PV array at grade. After some selective pruning of the tree line, the decision was made to mount the panels on the roof.

The geothermal heat pump forced air heating and cooling system was designed and installed by A&B Cooling and Heating Inc. A 300' horizontal closed loop heat exchanger was used. A Venmar Duo 1.4ERV unit was coupled to the ductwork to provide mechanically controlled ventilation. A Geo Spring heat pump was installed as a backup source for DHW for those seasonal periods where the larger system was in need of assistance.

The home owners, Cindy Moeckel and Larry Grasso are now living in the house. All systems are working well. However, they discovered the need to have the PV panels cleared of the record snowfall this winter. For them a poignant reminder that living with nature is a constant adventure.

Website by: 505 Creative Services, Guilford CT  |  www.505Creative.com
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