LEED-H (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a certification program for residential homes to promote best practices in energy conservation, land and water use, air quality, and education in building construction. (Here is an earlier blog on LEED as it applies to 78 Main St, our renovation project).
This week I held a LEED-H meeting with representation from all the sub-contractors to go over the preliminary rating, the pre-requisite items, and to address the Durability Plan — which is the first real deliverable from our group to the LEED raters.
Ahhh… the bureaucracy of state and local permits. We are trying to build a net zero energy building (ZEB) with LEED certification (leadership in energy and environmental design) but we can’t start until we get all the right permits through all the right bureaucracies.
I thought it would be relatively easy to get a building permit from our town (Enfield) to build a back deck, detached garage and driveway… but when I finally got around to starting the application I saw this little note at the end that said I need to get a permit from the NH Department of Environmental Services, Shoreland Protection Group. My house is within 250′ of the Mascoma River, so this rule applies to me.
BTUs from the Sun
At the end of last week we had a good meeting with Murphy’s Cell-Tech, our energy consultant, who has done the thermal modeling for our house to determine the number of BTUs entering and leaving. The people involved in the model included experts in insulation, thermal seal of the building, heating systems, air ventilation, and renewable energy sources.
The basic idea is to use the sun to fill (heat) a storage tank in the ground with the amount of BTUs that will be required all winter to keep the house warm. The better insulated and air tight the house is, the fewer BTUs that will be needed to keep the house warm. To ensure healthy air quality, there will be a heat exchanger ventilation system which is always drawing in air from outside, pre-heated by the warm air from inside that is on its way out.
78 Main, June 2009
78 Main St, Enfield, NH is the address of my family’s future home as well as my store’s new home. We would like this to be a model of energy efficiency; a place for people to get ideas for things they could implement in their own homes or new construction; and general information for how technology and the environment can work well together to help us move away from our dependency on oil.
We set a goal early on in this project to design for a Zero Energy Building (ZEB). All energy being used over the course of a year is generated by renewable sources. As we got into deeper discussion of what kinds of things we would be doing to get to zero energy, it occurred to me that the LEED certification for homes might also be a good measurement tool for this renovation project. ZEB is a term that refers only to the energy consumption/production of the building. LEED is looking at many environmental factors that are affected by building construction.