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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell (HfHGL) has partnered with Building Science Corporation (BSC) on previous new construction projects. This working relationship continued with HfHGL’s renovation of a mid-19th century farmhouse into affordable housing meeting Building America performance standards. BSC guided the project through the compound challenges of implementing high performance construction in the context of Habitat’s construction process and in the context of a 150 year-old structure in an historic district.
In June of 2009, National Grid launched a pilot program intended to demonstrate Deep Energy Retrofits (DER) in existing Massachusetts homes. The pilot program provides financial incentives and technical support to projects that commit to achieving significant energy reduction and successfully complete a long application process. The open application process is intended to bring a variety of housing types and retrofit approaches into the pilot.
One-and-a-half story, three bedroom, two bath single family house with crawlspace; note that one bedroom is on the first floor.
East 71st Street
The Cleveland Prototype Housing designs will demonstrate sustainable building practices by integrating a number of strategies into one very sensible design solution: using recycled, low-polluting materials and controlled ventilation equipment to preserve natural resources and support environmentally progressive industries. By efficiently using inner city land, this development will help revitalize downtown areas while reducing traffic, pollution and energy use from commuting.
A premise of the Building America program is that high performance homes must be sustainable both environmentally and economically. EcoVillage Cleveland takes this premise to a new level. From location to lumber to lighting—energy efficiency, resource efficiency, and durability rule at EcoVillage Cleveland, but withou affordability. EcoVillage Cleveland is about local and individual sustainability.
West 54th Street
Typical homes have no way of providing outdoor air in a controlled manner aside from relying on the construction of leaky homes and the whims of the weather (wind and temperature differences). Leaky homes consume energy and tend to be uncomfortable from drafts. Tight homes without controlled ventilation can also have problems due to a build up of odors and other pollutants. The optimum approach for healthy, safe, comfortable, energy efficient homes is to construct a tight building envelope and provide controlled mechanical ventilation.
Cold Climate: National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Program—Second Floor Reframing Comprehensive Retrofit of 19th Century Small Colonial
Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts received this circa 1900 property as a donation from the Town of Lancaster. The building had been in a state of significant deterioration, yet preserving the footprint and first floor framing was essential to preserving the ability of Habitat to provide a home on the otherwise non-conforming lot. Due to programmatic requirements, the roof was removed and a new second floor and roof framed on top of the existing balloon-framed structure. Significant parts of the rubble-stone-and-brick foundation wall also required replacement. The interior of the remaining first floor was completely gutted.
Cold Climate: National Grid Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Program—Three-Story Victorian Partial Retrofit
The retrofit project included new fiber cement siding installed over exterior insulation, new high performance windows, a conditioned basement, improved insulation at the attic and roof, and improved air tightness.
September 2010 saw the completion of the second project participating in National Grid’s Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) pilot program. This program provides financial incentives and technical support to residential retrofit projects that commit to achieving significant energy reduction. As the Technical Team in this pilot program, Building Science Corporation (BSC) supports the projects by evaluating and approving project plans, providing technical support, and performing site visits for verification of measures and testing. BSC also supports the program by participating in DER workshops.
The current owners of this 1993 Colonial style house purchased the home in 2003. After living in the house for several years, they started planning a project to make improvements that would better meet their needs, including a 492 ft2 two story addition on the back of the house, rebuilding the roof over the main part of the house with a steeper slope so that additional living space could be developed in the attic, adding more insulation, and tightening up the house.