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Wolfworks to offer tours, information at ‘Net Zero’ house under construction in Farmington

This house at 17 Metacomet Road in Farmington, designed by Jamie Wolf of Wolfworks in Avon, is being built as a net zero "passive house." The firm will offer a tour of the house on Sunday, Sept. 22.
This house at 17 Metacomet Road in Farmington, designed by Jamie Wolf of Wolfworks in Avon, is being built as a net zero "passive house." The firm will offer a tour of the house on Sunday, Sept. 22.
Homeowners are learning about the importance of energy savings and are seeking ways to conserve resources and keep costs down. What they may not know is this: homes can actually produce more energy than they use if designed and built as a “passive house.”

A demonstration of that process will be offered to the public Sunday, Sept. 22 from 12 to 3 p.m. at a home under construction in Farmington. Tours of the “passive house” will be given along with informative presentations, scheduled for 12:30 and 2 p.m.

The open house is hosted by Wolfworks, a design and build firm based in Avon. The firm’s principal, designer Jamie Wolf, is a Certified Passive House Consultant and the first person in Connecticut to provide this service. He previously designed a passive house in Harwinton, the first in Connecticut to be officially certified as such.

That house was the winner of the 2012 Connecticut Net Zero Energy Challenge, a design and build competition sponsored by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) and its utility partners, Connecticut Light & Power and The United Illuminating Company.

Homes that are “Net Zero” – able to produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis – are not only possible, but can be affordably built, Wolf said.

“We’re offering the opportunity to come inside and take a look around our Farmington project before we close up the walls,” he said.

Those who attend will be able to see how contractors build thick walls that hold heat like a thermos; air sealing techniques that are measured and tested with a fog machine; a ventilation system that provides constant fresh air and captures heat as the air changes; and heating and cooling equipment that uses less energy than a couple of blow dryers.  

They can also check out the home’s in-swinging European windows that gain more energy than they lose and close as tight as a car door.

During the presentations, people will hear about designing and building using the passive house method; solar electric systems that can power the house and an electric car; what a home’s energy balance is; how energy ratings lead to smart choices about energy use; how incentives make it easier and more affordable to save energy.

“We’ll explain what Zero Net Energy means and why this home will cost nothing to operate,” Wolf said.

In addition to Wolf, those taking part in the event are Janet Downey of Wolfworks, the construction manager; Peter Harding, HERS rater from Home Energy Technologies;  Chris Lenda from Aegis Solar Energy; Enoch Lenge from Energize CT and Energy Star for Homes; and trade professionals specializing in insulation, mechanical systems, and other technologies. Victory Energy Solutions will also participate.

The house address is 17 Metacomet Road, Farmington. No reservations are required, but for further information, call 860-676-9238, e-mail info@homesthatfit.com or go to http://www.homesthatfit.com/blog/ to read articles Wolf has written.




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