Taft Faculty House | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes v4 - LEED v4

Taft Faculty House

59 North Street
Watertown, CT 06795
United States

LEED Platinum 2015

The Taft School faculty home, designed by Trillium Architects, serves as a high performance residence and learning lab for students. Constructed by sustainability industry veterans, BPC Green Builders, the home achieved a HERS 33 before 13.1 kW PV system was added and -14 after. Challenged to find high efficiency windows that were historic commission acceptable, the team installed Klearwall awning or casements over fixed glass (to mimic double hungs) with simulated divided lites (u-values as low as 0.13). A high solar heat gain coefficient (0.58) facilitates the passive solar gain for winter, while well-designed overhangs and pergola shade summer sun.

Double studded walls have 2-¼-inch closed cell foam plus 8-½-inch dense pack cellulose for a R-49 cavity. The exterior sheathing is R-6.6 Zip Wall System with taped seams to create the continuous air barrier. Inside the solid concrete foundation is 3-inch closed cell foam behind 2x4 stud wall s and R-32 cellulose in the cavity. Prefabricated TJI joists frame the attic floor, an insulated "room" houses the heat recovery ventilator and ductwork, and blown-in cellulose blankets it all in R-86. The house tested 0.6ACH50 proving the effectiveness of its air-tight envelope and attention to air sealing. Heating and cooling is provided by efficient air source heat pumps (9.2 HSPF, 16.5 SEER) and delivered by short duct runs which tested extremely tight.

A heat pump water heater provides domestic hot water and an on-demand switch with an occupancy sensor at each bath ensures hot water is delivered fast and efficiently. Low flow fixtures are Water Sense certified, appliances are Energy Star labeled, and all LED lighting. A Zehnder Novus 300 HRV (93 percent efficient) supplies 112 cfm of continuous fresh air while using only 32 watts. The homeowners control the mechanical ventilation through the intuitive wall-mounted control pad to shut off or increase ventilation. Chemicals and contaminants were reduced by using low VOC and GreenGuard certified sealants, adhesives, primers, and paints. A walk-off matt and hardwood floors help control dirt and dust. The granite front steps were salvaged and local stone used for the patio and stone walls. Storm water runoff from the roof, patio, and driveway is managed by the rain gardens and the native landscape is low maintenance.

Taft School Director of Environmental Stewardship, Carly Borken, uses the process as a teaching tool for her science classes. With access to the home monitoring system they can virtually access the resident's consumption.

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Project details
3,516 sf
7 Oct 2015
Data Reporting
Energy Update
Water Update
Transportation Update
Waste Update
Human Experience Update

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