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Our first National Grid DER is in the home stretch and all the bells and whistles are being finished. This project has been a “test kitchen” for owner Brian Butler.

The “Philly-Style” split has some of the coolest products out today. This once aluminum and asphalt wrapped dwelling now has 5” of Tuff-R rigid insulation under the James Hardie Pre-Finished clapboard, illustrated by the before and after photo.
The “tuned” Windows range from heat-gain ThermoTech models on the south to German Schuco on the north; some are casements and others are Tilt-n-Turns. The Doors are from Architectural Openings in Somerville and are equipped with rugged (6) point locking system and premium air-tight gasketing.
Most think of the sexiest room of the house to be the Kitchen or Master Bathroom. Whilethe project has some gorgeous finishes, the real story is the technology and techniques used behind the scenes.


The air leakage rate of the shell has reduced 84% from the baseline test ! The insulating R value of the walls (R-57) and roof/ceiling (R-60) are more than triple the original conditions, and as a result the mechanical systems are quite small for a relatively large house (about a half of the original output BTU capacity). Finally, the +90% efficient Zehnder HRV provides superior air quality to a home that is now more than 6 times tighter than it was…!

 

 

 

 

Cold uncomfortable drafts and dry sinus in the winter, miserably hot stuffy summers with noisy window air conditioners are all distant memories now…!

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3 thoughts on “Medford DER and Passivhaus retrofit update

  1. I really have a problem with the look of the windows. They have gone from being part of the architecture of the building to looking like gaping holes or mirrors.
    Also lament the loss of thefirst floor porch and second floor porch roof.
    Porches are relaxing, but not if closed off from the street, or exposed to hot sun or rain.

    • Hi Jeff, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree that the windows lost some character. But this was a tight budget on a house in desperately poor condition and a fairly blue collar neighborhood. So, the idea of saving money on dividers and putting it toward better windows with better performance numbers was the choice we made. Regarding the 2nd floor porch roof, that roof dated to appx 1960 when a wave of aluminum siding swept over the neighborhood “beautifying” all these homes. When demolished it revealed a long covered over and forgotten dentil moulding between the bays, so roof-less was the original look. The first floor porch would have been open, with some simple columns, as a few of the other matching homes on the street still have their original columns. We opted for the enclosure to give us a secure room for bikes, shoe storage and a nice buffer against the weather, when entering the home. It’s north facing, so both porches are usually pretty comfortable, and get a lot of use.

  2. Pingback: Our Medford EnerPhit in the JLC | Boston Green Building Blog

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