Category: Single Family Homes under 3,000 sq ft.
Wilmington, DE 19810
Date Completed: 9-16-2016
Total cost of project: $677,700.00
Dimensions of building: 2862 sq. ft. 1st floor on full unfinished insulated conditioned basement 2862 sq. ft.
Total sq. ft. of conditioned space: 5724 sq. ft.
Terry and Robin Loughran
6551 Devonshire Heights Rd.
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Panels Manufactured By: The Murus Co.
Daniel E Emery Architect
1007 Hawthorne Ave
Fort Washington, PA 19035
Describe the end use of the building: Single family residence.
The customers wanted a high performance and very comfortable home. A large open layout with cathedral ceilings throughout and an open staircase to the basement meant the home needed to be virtually airtight and extremely well insulated in order to provide consistent temperature. SIPS was the best choice to achieve their goals.
SIP wall thickness and core material: 6 1/2" EPS
SIP roof thickness and core material: 12" Neopor
The use of SIPs panels is the easiest way to provide a virtually airtight structure and one of the most reliable construction methods for assuring consistent thickness and R-Value of insulation. The use of pre-cut panels eliminates waste on the job site. Interior "windows" in the Office wall enable natural light from large hall skylights to be shared with the office. Thermal breaks were installed between the concrete floor in the basement and the foundation. Exposed steel beams support the cathedral ceiling in the great room.
Due to the added expense of 3rd party certification, the owners declined to acquire any. They plan to live in their home for many years, so certification is of no value to them. The home was designed and carefully constructed to be state of the art in energy performance. The Owners were on site during all stages of construction, blower door testing and infrared evaluation. They place more value on that first-hand verification of performance than any more costly paper certifications
HERS Index: 48
Blower door test results: 0.53 ACH50
Describe the HVAC system used on the project: Because natural gas is available to the home we used a Lenox Natural gas ducted 3 zone system with a separate 3 TON air conditioner. The 3 zones were specified: the bedroom wing, main living area and the basement living areas.
4" of rigid EPS insulation (R-20) was installed under the concrete basement floor. The basement rim joist was spray foamed with open cell insulation for an R-21 value. The basement wall system was provided by SUPERIOR WALLS and having an R-21 value using their 9' Xi-plus walls. Marvin Fiberglass Casement and Awning windows were used with a U-value of 0.27. The exterior walls were 98% EPS SIPS with the balance being spray foam, and the roof was 100% SIPs. The house was located on the lot for a southern exposure and the windows were sized to work as a passive solar home. PEX radiant heating pipe was installed under the basement concrete. 100% of the lighting is LED. A Broan ERV was installed and ducted separately from the HVAC system to correctly provide controlled fresh air to the home. A make-up air system that is insulated and separate from the HVAC and ERV systems, was installed to operate when the range hood is turned on. Two on-demand natural gas fired domestic hot water heaters were installed at different ends of the home for more efficient distribution of the hot water. All appliances are natural gas or Energy Star rated electrical appliances. All exterior duct vents have positive shut dampers and are not just gravity dampers. A Fantech multi room bath fan system was used in lieu of 2 separate bath fans.
The exterior was sided with Hardie Plank cement board materials and Natural Stone veneers The exterior decking, railing and stairs were all Black Locust. The interior was painted with Low VOC paint. The kitchen countertops were made from Soapstone. All exterior retaining walls were constructed 100% with stone from the site displaced during excavation for the basement. Exposed steel beams were used to support the roof in the living room area.
The home was conceived and built with the philosophy that it would be energy efficient from under the basement up through the roof. It is 100% cathedral ceilings and therefore 12" Neopor SIPs panels were requested. The owners were looking for near Passive House performance. They were amazed and delighted when the blower door tests exceeded the Passive House requirement!
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