Category: Efficient Homes

Duct sealing

Our HVAC installer, Boucher Energy Systems, was out Friday to commence duct sealing.  The Energy Star rating system specifies a maximum permissible amount of duct leakage from our ventilation ducts.  Even though the entire duct system is located within the [...]

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Our Own Solar System

We hit a big milestone today - we went off the grid and starting producing our own electric power!  Our 14.7 kW array will provide a substantial amount of the home’s energy during most of the year.  Our solar installer, [...]

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Blower Door Test Redux – a REALLY Airtight House!

Once the exterior wall insulation was completed, our LEED Rater, Mark, came by to do another blower door test and IR examination of the insulation.  Our goal was to identify any spots where insulation was missing, and fix any air [...]

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1JoUx5k_NQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1JoUx5k_NQ A lot has happened since my last update several weeks ago.  Much of September was devoted to installing the interior insulation in the project.  This is one of the most [...]

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MassSave tour

A few weeks ago we hosted a tour for program administrators and utility representatives from MassSave.  MassSave is a collaborative of Massachusetts' natural gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas Company, Cape Light [...]

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Hot water

We’ve put a lot of effort into the design of the hot water system.  In the average home, hot water is the third largest energy use (18%), behind heating and cooling (48%) and lighting, appliances, and electronics (30%).  In the Highland project, [...]

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Making fireplaces work in a green home

A few weeks ago our two fireplaces showed up and they’re now installed.  Fireplaces can be a large source of air pollution in a home (particulates, carbon monoxide, and other noxious gases), so the guidelines for tight homes are [...]

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Testing for airtightness

After a lot of diligent work from the framing and carpentry crews, we’ve reached the point where the house is tight enough for a preliminary blower door test. The purpose of this test is to measure how airtight the [...]

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HVAC installation starts

Now that the house is weathertight we have started MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) work.  Our HVAC contractor has been out routing ducting and has started installing and connecting up the system components.  There are two separate systems: the heating and [...]

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Window installation

The windows arrived a few weeks ago.  Now that the blueskin is up on most of the house the team has been busy installing and sealing them into position. Window selection was a challenge for this project.  Many high-performance projects [...]

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