NORTHAMPTON, MASS – Wright Builders, Inc. has received a 2011 GreenBuilder Home of the Year Award for a newly built Hadley, Massachusetts, house which generates 33 percent more energy than it consumes and powers the owners’ electric car.
For their 2011 Home of the Year Awards, GreenBuilder selected “ten outstanding projects displaying the best and most cutting-edge green residential building.” The judges lauded Wright Builders’ project, the only home selected in the Northeast, as “Traditional looking in almost every respect, this home’s building science is way ahead of the curve.”
This home-of-the-future, designed by Bruce Coldham of Coldham & Hartman Architects, Amherst, MA, earns outstanding energy-efficiency ratings through a combination of design and construction features.
The stylish home was designed for maximum south-facing roof exposure using digital modeling to account for trees and sun angles, with the goal of utilizing solar power as the top priority. Solar panels on the award-winning home’s roof are now capable of generating 22kW of power – enough to charge the homeowners’ Wheego LiFe electric car.
Wright Builders framed the house using double wall construction and conducted regular pressurized blower door tests – something Wright performs on all homes it builds – throughout the building stages to identify and remedy potential air leakage. This approach to “sealing the envelope” ensures a building’s ability to retain heat in the winter and cooler air in warmer months. 2.0 air changes per hour is the Energy Star top rating, with the goal for the Hadley project originally set at 1.0 air change per hour. The finished home tests at .91, one of the best ratings achieved anywhere. Additionally, an energy recovery vent system provides filtered exterior fresh air, after scavenging over 70% of the heat, or air-conditioning, from the exhaust air.
Other energy-efficient features of the Hadley home include locally-harvested wood floors, low- VOC finishes and paints, Energy-Star rated appliances, “HardiPlank” siding, eco-friendly countertops from reutilized materials, and Class 1 Cellulose insulation — a sustainable, locally recycled product.
Increasingly, the public is aware of HERS ratings, which establish the tested performance of a home. 100 is code compliant, and 0 is zero net. Wright Builders received a confirmed HERS rating of Minus 33 for this home as a result of the exceptional design, remarkable execution, and, especially, the homeowners’ willingness to invest in large PV array, engineered and installed by Pioneer Valley Photo Voltaic of Greenfield, MA. The lower a home’s score, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the standard, with each 1-point decrease in the HERS rating translating to a 1% reduction in energy consumption.
Wright Builders has been at the forefront of solar design, energy-efficient construction, and conservation technology for their entire 35-year history. Partners Jonathan Wright and Mark Ledwell are committed to building the highest quality, most efficient residential and commercial builders, using the best green building practices and materials available today. They are making the home of the future a reality today.