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Three townhouses at 3011, 3013 and 3015 Cohoon Street recently completed in O’Bryonville earned LEED for Homes certificaton. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building practices for energy efficiency, sustainability and occupant health. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. This project earned Gold certification on 11/25/15. These homes replaced two 1900’s bungalows and were designed with an “Italianate” exterior to fit with the predominant style of the neighborhood. The interiors are a modern open floor design, featuring high ceilings, hardwood floors and master suite with a large walk-in closet.
The project was developed by Renee Duncan LLC, a new company focused on energy efficient new construction and renovation. The builder was Potterhill Homes Ltd., a leader in the area for energy efficient construction techniques and LEED certified homes. For more information on “The Potterhill Difference” you can visit their website at www.potterhillhomes.com. This project’s building envelope consists of 2×6 exterior walls vs. standard 2×4, increasing the amount of insulation. Attic insulation is also 30% more than standard. Special attention was placed on air sealing the envelope to reduce infiltration of hot air in the summer and loss of warm air in the winter. The average HERS index (Home Energy Rating System) for the three homes was 58 vs. 100 for standard new construction and 130 for typical older resale. This translates into real energy savings for the homeowner.
Renee Duncan LLC was formed by two recently retired Procter & Gamble women managers. As the two began working with various vendors on this project, one question always arose. Who is Renee Duncan and when do we meet her? Actually, the name of the company consists of the owners’ middle names so Renee Duncan is not an actual person – even though they both wish she would pay the bills. With this project completed, sold and occupied, they are now looking for their next green building or renovation opportunity. For additional information you can contact them at email@example.com.
Passive solar orientation (see angles of sun below)
Information provided by Casey Moothart , Owner
The home located at 4415 Haight Avenue in Northside earned LEED Gold certification October 22 ,2015. Located less than a mile from the business district it is within walking distance of public transportation, shops and other conveniences.
This is a modern home design has a number of notable sustainable design features. utilizing corrugated metal fiber cement panels, and cedar on the exterior. Passive solar orientation was implemented in the design of this home. See design above. The walls and roof were constructed of structural insulation panels (SIPs) which make the house extremely well insulated and quiet. It is a very tight construction and meets Passive Home specifications. There is a large south facing white metal roof. It is orientated for future solar panels/home battery installation.
The concrete floor of the home serves as a thermal mass for storing heat. They did not use any XPS rigid foam installation (because of terrible Greenhouse gas potential of the blowing agent used to make it) and instead used EPS. This includes a special high PSI foam board that was placed under the slab of the basement.
An air circulation system (ERV) circulates fresh air throughout the house. This is an ERV (energy recovery ventilation) which works 24/7 to bring a measured amount of fresh air into the house. During the cold months it transfers the heat and moisture from exhaust air to the fresh air for exceptional energy efficiency. It does the same thing in reverse during the warm months of the years.
The exterior design includes No Mow Turf by Prairie Nursery. All the runoff from the yard and downspouts is routed into a retention ponds and then slowly drains to the sewers from there.
Additional green features include:
- Geothermal furnace for both heating and cooling
- the house does not use natural gas at all but has a heat pump, hot water heater and induction cooktop
- has a “smart” hot water recirculation pump
- a combo washer / condensing dryer (LG) that they don’t have to vent out of the house
- insulated inside the basement walls with open cell spray foam
- insulated hot water plumbing lines
- all air sealing was done with tape and gaskets and did not rely on foam or caulk