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2011 Challenge Participant:

Bernard Zahren

Applicant: Bernard Zahren

Project Address: 40 Gibraltar Rd., Avon, CT

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: 5 BD - 5,237 sq ft

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Bernard Zahren project in Avon, CT.

This single family home, expected to be approximately 5,237 square feet, will be constructed in Avon, Connecticut. The home is a modern structure with overhanging balconies, which provide visual interest, diminish solar gain and take advantage of spectacular views. The house will be clad with HardiePlank utilizing unique siding details in order to accommodate the required insulation to achieve our target exterior wall efficiency of R-40.

The entire project has three focal points that will help achieve the goal of net zero energy, which are:

1. A good building envelope
2. A highly efficient HVAC system
3. Utilization of renewable resources

First, the building envelope is being addressed on several fronts with the innovative concept of 20/40/60. That concept refers to R-20 in the foundation and flooring, R-40 in the walls and R-60 for the ceilings.

Secondly, a high efficiency HVAC system will be obtained by using a geothermal closed loop system that employs a water-to-water furnace connected to hydronic air-handlers. This water-to-water system offers many advantages over water-to-air and both are obviously far superior to air-to-air (non-geothermal).

Renewable resource utilization is the third category of our energy focus. Since the home is located on the top of Talcott Mountain, we have a unique opportunity to optimize the use of wind power. We have erected a windmill which should provide adequate output for all domestic energy needs. Because of Bernard Zahren's (the owner) passion for the use of renewable energy, the home will also use a solar domestic hot water system. This system, although not needed to achieve net zero energy consumption, provides the use of renewable energy as a teaching tool, a focal point of the owner's mission.

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