DOE Tour of Zero: Eastford Farm Bungalow by Paul Torcellini
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Paul Torcellini built this 3,597-square-foot home in Eastford, Connecticut, to the performance criteria of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The majority of windows face south to take advantage of free solar heat.
Taking advantage of a sloping lot, the builder constructed a daylight basement that provides living space and garages without increasing the home’s footprint.
A 9.4-kW solar-photovoltaic electric generating system and a high-performance thermal envelope consisting of double-stud walls filled with 12 inches (R-52) of dense-packed fiberglass insulation plus an unvented roof insulated along the underside with dense-packed R-60 to R-80 fiberglass helped provide combined energy cost savings of $5,470 compared to a similar-sized home built to the 2009 IECC.
In the kitchen, an ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerator was installed.
This home meets the requirements of the EPA Indoor airPLUS program, including the use of low- or no-VOC wood products, primer, paint, cabinets, and flooring to minimize the air contaminants.
An ultra-efficient air–to-water heat pump provides hot water for radiant in-floor heating and for domestic hot water. A highly efficient (SEER 26) ductless heat pump provides supplemental cooling as needed.
A centrally located 80-gallon storage tank holds hot water from the air-to-water heat pump.
These inverters convert the direct current electricity produced by the solar electric system to alternating current. The house is wired with emergency circuits that tie into the inverters for power, refrigeration, and lighting during utility power outages.
“Of course it's going to be a zero-energy house!”
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“It just really made sense to start from scratch and build it the way we want it. Of course it's going to be a zero-energy house! I’ve done energy efficiency for many, many years. You kind of have to think, how does it impact future generations?”
– Paul Torcellini, homeowner and builder