DOE Tour of Zero: Norwalk Net Zero by Degenshein Architects
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Jan Degenshein built this 3,503-square-foot custom home in Norwalk, Connecticut, to the high performance criteria of the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program.
The 12-kW PV panel array will help this home achieve net zero energy usage and is expected to save the homeowners more than $5,000 per year in utility costs.
The simple gable roof was insulated below the roof deck with 2.5 inches of closed-cell poly-icynene and 3.5 inches of mineral wool insulation.
ENERGY STAR appliances, LED lighting, and water-saving plumbing fixtures add to energy and water savings in the efficient home.
The stained concrete floors provide a water-resistant durable surface and can serve as thermal mass for beneficial wintertime passive solar heat gain.
Low-flow and EPA WaterSense-rated fixtures help conserve water while all plumbing pipes are fully insulated to retain heat. A motion sensor-activated recirculation pump speeds hot water to the tap when needed.
The concrete block foundation wall is insulated on the exterior with 2 inches of rigid XPS foam.
The coated insulated sheathing is taped at all seams to serve as both an air barrier and weather-resistant barrier.
The home is equipped with a high-efficiency, variable-speed, multi-ducted, minisplit heat pump with a SEER of 15.8 and an EER of 11.3. The ducts are wrapped with insulation and air-sealed with an aerosol sealant process.
Hot water is provided by an 84-gallon, high-efficiency heat pump water heater that is centrally located in the first-floor utility room. Motion-sensors trigger a recirculation pump for quick delivery of hot water to further fixtures.