78 Main St, Leviston House
The home of Kim Quirk, Dick DuMez, Kilowatt (our cat) and the Enfield Energy Emporium’s renewable energy resource center. This page documents the renovation from an 1858 historic shell to a zero net energy building.
The goals for this project were:
Zero Energy Building, ZEB: All the energy we need to run this house is provided by or offset by renewable resources.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED-H: LEED for homes is a rating system that rates projects in 5 areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality.
No Combustion: We believe we don’t have to burn anything to keep this house warm in the harsh New England winters. No oil, gas or wood. No pilot flame. No carbon monoxide either. Low temperature heating systems.
Historical Preservation: This house was originally built in the late 1850’s. It was gutted on the inside, the windows and siding were removed and partially replaced, but there are some good ‘bones’ and lots of embodied energy. We planned to keep (or restore) the character of the building and its era to the best of our ability.
And here is the strategy to meet those goals:
Seal the envelope and super insulate the building from basement to attic. Murphy Cell-Tech has done the design and heat model to meet the ZEB goals. This project is a partially a renovation and partially a new construction project. We can’t change the orientation of the house or build a new foundation, and we are keeping the outside shell. But everything on the inside has been gutted so we have the opportunity to insulate as if it were new construction.
Thermal Storage Tank, by Thermal Storage Solutions. Think of this as a very large, well insulated, thermos in the ground. Unlike geo-thermal systems we not using the ground for its heat capacity. The ground is just a place to put the thermos. The size of this tank, how many BTUs can be stored, for how long, and how quickly they can be retrieved in the winter are all part of the heating models for this house.
Evacuated solar tubes will provide the solar collection to fill the thermos with BTUs. The evacuated tube technology is great for New England since the vacuum around the heat collector helps insulate the heat from a very cold winter day. The thermos fills up all summer, and then gets drawn off in the winter to heat the house.
Circulating Air (like radiant floor heating, only with low temperature warm air). We will use an energy recovery whole-house ventilator to bring in fresh air, warm it, and circulate it through the house keeping a constant temperature. The water pump and circulators as well as the water to air exchanger and ventilator have to meet very low energy requirements so we can offset all of our electrical use with solar photovoltaic modules.
The Renovation Process
Here are all the blogs related to the 78 Main St renovation project:
- Call it a Beta
- Backup Systems Required
- Creating a Zero Net Energy Building in a Historic Shell
- Open for Business
- Finishing the Move!
- Starting the Move
- Are We There Yet?
- Insulation – Finally!
- Prepping for the Insulation
- Energy Efficient Cooking
- Slate update
- Economic Blues
- Graphic Picture of Solar Heating
- Solar Collector – Hot Stuff
- Putting Old and New Together
- Historic Preservation – Embodied Energy
- Solar Storage
- LEED-H Meeting
- Webcam Excavation Pictures
- Cutting Through the Red Tape
- Permit Me to Make a ZEB, LEED
- Sealing the Basement
- It Starts with a Good Foundation
- BTUs Present and Accounted For
- LEED Me Home
- Historic and Energy Efficient
- Energy Emporium’s New Home
Drawings and other links: