This Farmington home produces more energy than it uses on an annual basis. Pretty remarkable, right? This “net zero” performance deserves recognition; that’s why energizeCT created its annual CT Zero Energy Challenge. And that’s why we are especially pleased to have been recognized for the second year in a row as a Grand Prize Winner! By every measure, we are designing and building the most energy efficient homes in the state.
This bright spotlight shines on the remarkable energy savings we achieve by striking the perfect balance between how much energy the house requires to operate and be healthy and comfortable, and matching it with the “free” energy we can capture from the sun. We employ the intelligence of building science to integrate proven systems and technologies to assure this result.
While we are being awarded for exemplary energy performance, the lucky homeowners are being rewarded with a host of additional qualities well beyond the obvious value of an energy cost of zero. They will be living in a home that is bright and open, consistently comfortable, with healthy and clean fresh air year round. And it is built to endure.
But beyond that, this is a home that fits. Like everything we design, it is aligned with the principles of the “not-so-big-house” which favors quality over quantities of space. It has a simple clean aesthetic that leaves room for select materials and a few special craft features to take the stage. Exterior finishes were chosen for long life and low maintenance. The interior features a nice balance of natural wood. Lower level floors are polished concrete. The whole place looks great!
And it flows. As we design we like to think of a home as a screenplay, with spaces setting the stage for a sequence of “scenes”, one leading purposefully to the next. From the moment of arrival and entry, visiting in the kitchen, settling for a meal, or retreating to a quiet corner to spend time alone we are considering how each experience should connect with the other – or not! We want each space to not only look great and work well, but feel good to be in.
Building a home like this takes a special kind of attention. Construction Coordinator Janet Downey starts each day early, communicating with subcontractors and product vendors, coordinating every detail as they come together layer upon layer. As an architect by training, and with two decades experience building hundreds of custom homes you can be sure she has a plan prepared and an answer ready as the daily challenges unfold. Since joining Wolfworks in 2010 Janet has mastered the emerging art of high performance home building. And now she has two Net Zero awards to prove it.
It is a great pleasure to work together with people who want to build homes like these. It is a great honor to be recognized for that effort and its result. We look forward to the many homes to come, the prospect of their remarkable performance, and most of all, their enduring usefulness and the delight of everybody who gets to live in them for decades to come.
Learn more about how we design and build these homes, as well as our past award winner here on our blog.
Read about the experience of living in a Passive House on the blog of our 2012 CT Zero Energy Challenge winners.