LEED Project Links:
10 Titus Road
P. O. Box 438
On January 27, 2009, a new house at 40 Cherniske Road in the Merryall section of New Milford, built by Picton Brothers LLC of Washington Depot, CT was awarded LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for achievement in green homebuilding. LEED for Homes is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient, healthy, green homes. LEED-certified homes complete a technically rigorous process that includes a Home Energy System (HERS) rating and onsite inspections to verify that the home is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound, and a healthier place to live. Green homes have substantially lower utility bills and may qualify for advantageous financing, lower insurance rates and government incentives.
Clare Rosenberger, Residential Program Assistant for the USGBC in Washington, DC stated in the approval letter dated January 27, 2009 that "USGBC is extremely pleased to approve the certification of the LEED home at 40 Cherniske Road, New Milford, CT, built by Picton Brothers LLC, and supported by the LEED for Homes Provider, CET. This project received a LEED Platinum Rating.... We look forward to working with [CET and Picton Brothers LLC] to highlight this outstanding accomplishment in the residential construction industry!"
CET is the Center for Ecological Technology, located in Pittsfield and Northampton, Massachusetts, the LEED for Homes Provider responsible for the certification process. Picton Brothers LLC is well-known in the Washington and New Milford area for their expertise in building quality homes.
40 Cherniske Rd is the only home in Connecticut currently certified at the LEED Platinum level, and one of only 7 Connecticut homes that have been certified using LEED. Three of these are at the first "Certified" level, one is at Silver, and 2 are at the Gold level.
40 Cherniske Rd is also an Energy Star Home, achieving the highest level of 5 Stars+ in the Energy Star Homes program which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and local utility companies contracting with private energy efficiency service providers. Energy Star Homes must achieve a minimum 30% reduction in energy use compared to a comparable conventional home. Picton Brothers LLC achieved a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 30, compared to a score of 100 for a conventionally built code-conforming house. This represents a potential 67% reduction in home energy use and the corresponding emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and two key air pollutants, compared to the reference home used by the rating system. The HERS score is incorporated in the LEED credit system.
The home is sited on 13 acres of land which is subject to a conservation easement to permanently protect forest, farmland, and open space. It is adjacent to large nature preserves owned by the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and the Town of New Milford. Site planning and building materials and methods are focused on protecting the environment and using resources sustainably, as well as on reduction of energy use. The 2 to 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house features local, recycled, reclaimed, and sustainably harvested materials, with minimal use of chemicals which may be harmful to humans or animals.
The compact home is designed for efficient use of space and adaptability to future needs. It is also designed for durability, by employing envelope and exterior water management and many careful choices of materials and methods. These are fundamental green features, which reduce the consumption and waste of materials and contribute to healthy indoor air by avoiding mold and deterioration of building components. These features also offer economy of operation and ease of maintenance.
Much of the energy needed to keep the house comfortable is developed on site. A 2 Kilowatt, 2 panel expandable photovoltaic system on the roof generates electricity, and net metering allows the home to use the electricity or run the meter backward and return power to the utility grid. A separate solar hot water system uses 2 panels on the roof to heat water in a solar storage tank in the basement for domestic use. Energy is also gained from the site by the passive solar window orientation and an efficient woodburning stove with a low EPA emissions rating, using the ample fuel supply grown on the wooded site.
Energy is conserved by high density, recycled cellulose insulation along with foam insulation, achieving R values of 40 in the walls and 60 in the roof twice the building code minimum. Mechanical ventilation with a heat exchanger provides fresh air and removes moisture in the heating season while reclaiming some of the heat from the outgoing air. Other energy features include low-e argon windows, high efficiency lighting fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs, and of course Energy Star appliances. A high efficiency propane fired boiler does the rest of the space heating, controlled by a programmable thermostat, and supplements the domestic water heating.
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