2021 Featured Home
Martin and Tina Voelker have been active in a sustainable life style for decades, riding bicycles as primary transportation and becoming early adopters of electric cars charged by PV panels on their roof. When they moved to their current 3000 sf home in 2004, they encountered typical conventional (1979) construction
issues: poor HVAC design, leaky enclosure (ACH50 = 11.5), and inadequate insulation. They suffered from cold bedrooms above an uninsulated garage, and
a cold basement that was similarly uninsulated. The furnace and air conditioner were over-sized to compensate for poor energy design.
They set about making improvements immediately, adding windows above existing windows in key locations to enhance both daylighting and views. Later,
they tackled priority areas: sealing the home with a process from AeroBarrier, which required emptying the house and relocating the family to a hotel for a week; adding dense-pack insulation in the walls; upgrading the ceiling insulation, including hidden dormers; doubling the R-value of the windows using minimal-labor “Winserts,” an Alpen Windows product that adds an extra double pane of glass without replacing the window.
The HVAC system underwent a major transition with a new Bosch ground-source heat pump to replace the furnace and air conditioner. Converting the chimney to
a duct chase, new air-return ducts were installed to the top floor bedrooms. All main ducts were pulled out of the house and replaced with larger capacity ducts. Three 300 foot Ground source water pipes were drilled in the back yard. Finally, a CERV2 was installed to provide fresh filtered air to the house.