DOE Tour of Zero: Options for Community Living by United Way of Long Island
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United Way of Long Island Housing Development Corporation renovated this 1,436-square-foot home in Patchogue, New York, to the performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The 1970s-era home had a HERS score of 162 in its pre-renovation condition, as shown here. When renovated a HERS score of 40 was achieved without renewable energy systems, or -3 when the 7.8-kW solar electric system and solar water heating panels were added.
Energy-efficiency and renewable renovations cut utility bills by nearly $2,500 per year for the home’s low-income special-needs occupants.
Solar tubes were installed to bring daylight into the interior of the home.
The home’s solar water heating system includes two 30-tube evacuated tube panels and a 120-gallon storage tank with electric backup.
The high-efficiency windows include argon-gas fill between two glass panes with advanced technology coating to reduce heat gain and heat loss.
The remodeled kitchen features an energy-saving ENERGY STAR-rated refrigerator and dishwasher.
Hot water for the low-flow fixtures comes from the solar water heater backed up with a 95% efficient wall-hung boiler.
An ENERGY STAR-rated clothes washer adds to water and energy savings.
The mechanical room in the basement houses the water heating equipment, including the storage tank and wall-hung boiler as well as the air handler for the hydro coil and high-efficiency (16 SEER) air conditioner.
The fresh air system features a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) that removes contaminants in the incoming air with a high-capture filter and then transfers heat between the fresh air being drawn in and the stale air being exhausted to temper the incoming air.
The existing 2-by-8 roof rafters were topped with 1/2-inch sheathing; then, two staggered layers of 2-inch closed-cell rigid foam board; 5/8-inch plywood sheathing; ice and water shield on all rakes, eaves, and valleys; roofing underlayment; and finally architectural fiberglass shingles. The underside of the roof assembly was sprayed with 6 inches of open-cell spray foam.
Drywall was removed and the existing 2-by-4 16-inch on-center wall framing cavities were filled with 3.5 inches of dense-packed cellulose. The ½ inch plywood sheathing was covered with house wrap and 1.5 inches of closed-cell rigid insulation then topped with 1-by-3 furring strips to create an air gap that ensures effective water draining behind the fiber cement siding.
The builders sprayed the underside of the roof assembly with 6 inches of open-cell spray foam to create an unvented, R-48 insulated attic.
“To me it’s a no-brainer. It’s got everything I’ve been looking for.”
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“We’ve made a 100% commitment to build to the DOE ZERH program moving forward with new and retrofit homes. When people talk Passive House, I say why go there when you could do this instead? Same with LEED. To me it’s a no-brainer. It’s got everything I’ve been looking for.”
– Rick Wertheim, program manager, United Way of Long Island Housing Development Corp.