This morning I received a nice email and photo from an old friend/customer and thought I would share it with you all. It really hits home with me, because while I live in an old New England town with many antique farm houses…my area is also inundated with Mc mansions that are about the ugliest, shoddily built,energy wasting hogs…not to mention their Cadillac Escalates in the driveway.
Greetings from an old and still satisfied customer. I was storing the Roadster the other day in our new house and realized you might be interested to learn what we built in NH, two years after I THOUGHT we had decided on condo living.
My wife and I bought a parcel of land from a builder/neighbor who wanted to establish a reputation for energy-efficient homes. He’s an old school, custom builder who does maybe 1-2 houses a year. We wanted a house that had a small footprint, on a slab, was super-insulated, properly oriented for max [passive] solar gain, made optimal use of space and of passive ventilation, and that used eco-friendly materials wherever possible.
The attached photo (south side) gives a pretty good idea of what it looks like, though some exterior lights were added since April. The house uses a sub-floor hydronic heat system. PEX tubing embedded in the slab, two inches of foam insulation beneath the slab and around the perimeter. The slab is our radiator. The water is heated by a small, wall-hung unit. Most of the downstairs floor is tiled. The house is oriented to the south/southeast to get as much sunlight as possible. The roof overhang was calculated to block direct sunlight during the height of summer but allow it in during the colder months. I checked on July 1 and found the shadow of the overhang fell to the window sills. Pretty cool. We have a full 8 inches of dense pack cellulose insulation, and we sealed all leaks after conducting a blower door test. The place stays very comfortable in both hot and cold days, and the cellulose is a great sound insulation. Once the floor is sufficiently heated in the very early morning, it retains the heat for a long time, and by 9:00 the sun takes over, warming the tiles “as the world turns”.
Wood floors are bamboo. Countertop is paperstone, all paint is low-VOC or non-VOC. The windows have thermal blinds. Appliances are all high-efficiency units from Europe. We’ll be growing some of our own food starting next year.
I hope you and the business are doing well. Wonder if you saw an upsurge of interest when the gas prices were going through the roof.
Also here is a link to someone everyone should know about…Wendell Berry