Preferred Builders knows a thing or two about spec homes, especially the well appointed, heavily-adorned variety usually found in the Greenwich real estate pages. Peter Fusaro, however, noticed a recent shift in attitude and traded excessive millwork and moulding for efficient assemblies and HVAC. Prospective buyers need not worry about what’s behind the walls (R7.5 rigid wrapping the exterior plus R21 Blown in Batt in studs) or in the mechanical room (SEER 16.5 A/C plus .94 EF condensing boiler) because the sleek kitchen, beautiful entry, and open living area are still the main attractions.
As the second home in the country to earn the U.S. Department of Energy Challenge Home certification, “The Performance House” also boasts LEED for Homes Platinum, NGBS Emerald, the EPA’s Energy Star v3.0, Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense certifications. The home took second place in the 2012 CT Zero Energy Home Challenge, received the 2011 Spec Home of the Year Award from Home Builders & Remodelers Association of CT (HOBI), and the 2013 Merit Award from the CT Green Building Council. Also trained as a HERS Rater and NGBS verifier, Mr. Fusaro understands the merits of third-party verification and hired Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) as the provider and rater for the certification and labels.
Wherever possible low VOC, recycled content, reclaimed, and recyclable materials were chosen. A small (75 kBtuh) condensing natural gas boiler for heat and hot water, and a modest 1.5-ton central-air system were installed. Occupants are unlikely to realize that the luxurious plumbing fixtures are low flow and will never have to wait for hot water thanks to the on-demand delivery systems. With high efficiency features alone, the home reached HERS Index 43, representing 37% savings over current code. A 6.6 kW PhotoVoltai system neatly tucked on the south facing roof drops the Index to 20 (80% below code) and provides a renewable source for the electric car charging station.
Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Zero Energy Ready / Near Zero Energy
Basis of Performance Claim
Conditioned Floor Area
3,671 sq ft
Energy Data Type
Renewable Energy System Type(s)
LEED for Homes Platinum, NGBS Emerald, the EPA’s Energy Star v3.0, Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense certifications.
Envelope and Mechanicals
There is 3” closed cell foam insulation with R value of 20 under entire slab and along the vertical stem wall.
Foundation wall assembly
There is 2.5” closed cell foam insulation with R value of 15 against foundation walls behind the studs.
Above grade wall assembly
There is 1.5” rigid foam board exterior insulation with R value of 7.5 were used plus Blown-In-Blanket System (BIBS) with R value of 20 was used in between the two by six wall studs.