Another High Performance, Net Zero Home
This is another high performance (HP), low energy demand, super insulated, net zero home we built in 2013 in Charlotte, Vermont. This 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home features many of the same details as the other HP, super insulated home we built that same year. The main difference is that this one was built on a frost wall protected slab built with insulated concrete forms (ICF’s) whereas the other one featured a full basement. We also created a large insulated attic space for storage and the air exchange, heat recovery ventilator heat pump by using large attic trusses and super insulating all the way to the peak of this house instead of having a flat, standard trusses ceiling like the other one. The concrete slab itself, which is the finished first floor, is insulated with 8 inches of EPS foam to R-36. The slab was polished towards the end of the project and provides substantial thermal mass to hold cool in the summer and warmth in the winter.
We used a double 2×4 wall framing system to create 12 inch thick dense pack cellulose walls (R-42) and dense packed the slopes of the ceilings with 18 inches of cellulose (R-64) all the way to the peak. We used the Schuco, German made triple pane tilt and turn windows using the 10% of floor area south facing glazing rule to make optimum use of the excellent solar exposure of this house.
The outside of the house was finished with minimal door and window trim (Boral Exterior Trim). We created simple extension jams for the metal J channel to rest against and receive the vertical metal corrugated siding. The roof is standing seam. The front entry porch was built out of locally harvested hemlock timbers and tongue and groove white pine was used to finish the ceiling and red cedar decking on the deck.
Interior finishes included a polished concrete first floor, cork and marmoleum floors on the second floor. There is a large custom tile two head shower with glass doors in the master bathroom along with lots of built ins throughout the house. Window sills are a simple maple design with drywall wrapping the remaining three sides of the triple pane windows and deep window wells. Kitchen cabinets and bath vanities were all custom made by a local cabinet maker.
This home is one of the first houses in Vermont to have a CERV (Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator) which is a combines an air exchange, heat recovery system with an air source heat pump. This system is equipped with CO2 and VOC sensors so that maximum air quality is maintained. This home also has a small wood burning stove in the main living space. Hot water is provided through a State 60 gallon heat pump hot water heater. A full 5 KW solar photo voltaic array covers the homes electricity usage and makes this a net zero home.