2016 Challenge Participant:

Maddox Residence

Applicant: Robert Maddox

Project Address: 255 Nonnewaug Road, Bethlehem, CT 06751

Bdrms./Sq. Footage: TBD

Builder Website: www.sterlingplanet.com

Project Overview Project Specifications Project Team Project Photos
The Maddox Residence project in Bethlehem, CT.

General project overview:

The Maddox Home compact salt box designed 1,950 sq ft Home utilized elements of the Passive house standard combined with the Living Building challenge and LEED. Creating a space that honors its location on a certified organic farm also lead to many biophilic design considerations including aggressive use of day lighting and natural ventilation.

Another goal of the house was to insure a resilient house that could comfortable be occupied for extended periods of time, in the event of prolonged power outages. This was accomplished through several strategies including low flow 2 button toilets that flush on gravity, a center designed soap stone wood stove, and heavily insulated envelope.  

Throughout construction, significant attention was placed on insuring a healthily home and with low or no emitting materials. No foam insulation was used. The house utilized German made Pro Clima products including Mento exterior house wrap and Intello interior vapor barrier.  Every joint was taped. The house also used Benjamin Moore Natura zero VOC paints, Vermont Natural coats stains, Green Guard certified glues, and real hardwood from our own property. PVC was minimized and the house utilized a significantly amount of used materials including the Kitchen, interior doors, flooring, fixtures and bricks.

Finally, the house was built for $168 a square foot and construction was accomplished in 9 months. 

Special Features:

  • Passive solar design

  • Hard wood oak, ask and hickory from the property utilized throughout the house

  • Walk out 9 foot basement with planned addition of a farm commercial kitchen

  • Healthily low or no voc materials used throughout with conscious decisions to maintain fresh air into living spaces through outside air and am HRV system

  • Food centric repurposed kitchen obtained from Green Demolitions

  • House is designed to allow residents to age in place with easy access on 1st floor

  • House is also resilient, allowing occupants to stay during prolonged periods of power outages. It is also one of the few houses to be built to a higher standard with hurricane roof clips supporting a metal roof and hurricane brackets into the foundation. 

Orientation and Envelope: (windows, insulation, framing)

  • House orientation is due south as determined by GPS satellite

  • The walls are doubled studded 2x4 construction creating a thermal break and are filled with dense packed cellulose insulation

  • All joints were tapped with Tescon Vana high performance tape

  • Exterior of the house is wrapped with Mento, while interior used Intello interior membrane with smart vapor barrier control. All seems were taped.    

  • Windows are Marvin Integrity fiberglass triple pain with a .2 U factor and .27 solar heat gain coefficient

  • Open design supports natural ventilation

  • Overhangs help provide maximum winter passive solar benefit, while providing shading in the summer

  • A rain screen helps minimize water infiltration issues

  • A green standing seamless metal roof was installed that exceeds LEED standards

  • 2x12 rafters allowed for an R-90 blown in cellulose insulation with mineral wool

  • Basement slab is insulated with R-15 EPS 

Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water:

  • Center fireplace soap stone wood stove with fujitsu Ductless mini split backup

  • Hot water is a Spartan Solar 3 Sunearth flat panel collector drain back system with Stiebel Eltron tank.

  • Open passive design allows for passive cooling in the summer

  • Haiku fan mounted in open loft area 


  • Fantech HRV system

  • Panasonic bathroom exhaust fans

  • Outside air directly feed to the wood stove

  • Additional outside air supplied when kitchen exhaust operated

  • Operatable windows with cross venation in every room

  • Active radon system 


  • All LED lighting

  • All ENERGY STAR appliances

  • All exterior outlets and switches were installed in Lessco Air Vapor Barrier boxes

  • Extra switches were added to allow for more control of lighting

  • House is wired to be solar PV ready

  • 440 service to accommodate a future commercial kitchen  


  • 3 panel solar thermal hot water system

  • House is enrolled for Sterling Planet’s Renewable Energy option through Eversource Energy (Renewable Energy Certificates match 100% of the electricity load) 

Resources Sustainability Features:

  • All water sense fixtures including low flush (.8 gallon) Caroma 2 button toilets

  • Significant use of used and repurposed materials: Flooring, Kitchen cabinets and countertops,  tile, balusters, brick, interior doors, bathroom vanities, and porch.  

  • Living & dining rooms utilized oak wood floors from our own property

  • All flooring on second floor was reposed from craigslist finds.

  • Solar clothes dryer only dryer used (Clothes Line)

  • Permaculture inspired exterior spaces

  • No dumpster was allowed on site. Waste materials where sorted by owner and most were recycled, reused, or reposed.

  • Excess and extra usable materials were donated to Danbury Habit for Humanity  

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