Up Hill House

"Up Hill House was designed and built by the homeowners, Larry and Jill Burks, in southern Washington County, New York. It produced more energy than used the first year of occupancy and is on track to do so again this year. Our house is at the heart of an effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle that also includes producing more of our own milk, eggs, meat, and produce on our small family farm. It is perhaps one of the best documented net zero houses on the web at uphillhouse.wordpress.com where we published our entire design and build process, as well as our experiences living in our new home. We also post all our energy, water and temperature data monthly at netplusdesign.com, a site we built specifically to share our data.

When we became engaged we decided we wanted to leave the city to build a small, sustainable home in the country. We knew we wanted good southern exposure for passive heating and PV potential, and soon found the perfect spot. Initial plans explored utilizing a Russian stove and lots of mass, but further research led us to discover super-insulated homes with high-performance windows and tight air sealing. Carter Scott’s homes in Massachusetts convinced us that net zero was the way to go. Soon thereafter we discovered BuildingScience.com and GreenBuildingAdvisor.com and the wisdom of Joseph Lstiburek and Martin Holladay.

We wanted a efficient, simple and modern space. Each floor is 600 sf (interior). We included a walkout basement to take advantage of the slope. The main level includes the kitchen, dining and living in one open space. A small office and pantry are located on the north side. Upstairs includes two bedrooms with walk-in closets and one full bath.

Larry did the preliminary energy calculations, then brought in DEAP Group to run the numbers in the PassivHaus spreadsheet to see where there might be room for improvement. They made a number of recommendations that were implemented in the final design."

Quick Facts

General

Location
978 Chestnut Hill Rd
Cambridge, NY12816
United States
Building Type Single Family Residence, Small Farm
Project Type Zero Energy
Basis of Performance Claim Verified,
Bedrooms 2
Conditioned Floor Area 1 200

Energy Summary

Energy Data Type
Renewable Energy System Type(s)
Ratings

HERS Rating: 22
Energy Star 5+

Annual renewable energy generated 8 575

Envelope and Mechanicals

Subslab assembly

(3 layers of 2″ XPS)

Foundation wall assembly

(2″ EPS + 9″ dense pack cellulose)

Above grade wall assembly

(12″ of dense pack cellulose)

Door Assembly
Air Changes per hour, ACH50 0.46
Up Hill House exterior Up Hill House exterior Up Hill House exterior Up Hill House exterior Up Hill House interior Up Hill House interior Up Hill House interior Up Hill House interior Up Hill House interior

Project Team:

ArchitectTeam Member: Larry Burks ArchitectTeam Member: Jill Burks BuilderTeam Member: Warren R. Coolidge Energy ConsultantTeam Member: Paul Eldrenkamp Energy ConsultantTeam Member: Paul Panish Energy ConsultantTeam Member: Mike Duclos

Other Team Members:

Ratings:

HERS Rating: 22
Energy Star 5+

Awards:

Completion

Completion Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011

Scope

Type of Construction
Number of buildings
Floor area of each building
Bedrooms 2
Stories 3
Conditioned Building Volume 16 896
Conditioned Floor Area 1 200

Location and Climate Details

Single Family Residence, Small Farm

Address
978 Chestnut Hill Rd
Cambridge, NY12816
United States
Location Type Rural
Climate Region Zone 5
Köppen Climate Type Dfb
Lat. / Long. POINT (-73.324278 43.032119)
Elevation 1 130
Solar Insolation 4.27 kWh/m2/day
Annual CDD and Base Temp 874 | 75
Annual HDD and Base Temp 6523 | 68

Site

Site Conditions:

Site Description:

Monthly Energy Data and Utilities

Energy Data Type: Verified,

Electric Utility: National Grid

Gas Utility:

Renewables and Energy Balance

Renewable Energy Sources:Renewable energy is generated within the building footprint (e.g. solar PV on the roof),

Renewable Energy System Description & Details:

Annual renewable energy generated 8 575
Annual Renewable Energy Generated Data Type
Power Rating 7Watts
Renewable Energy System Type(s)
Source of Annual Production Data

Walls and Roof

Walls - DBL wall, 2x6 and 2x4 framing, with 12" of dense pack cellulose, Attic - 2x10 rafters with 24" of loose blown cellulose

Subslab assembly

(3 layers of 2″ XPS)

Subslab R-value 30.00
Slab edge assembly
Slab edge R-value
Foundation wall assembly

(2″ EPS + 9″ dense pack cellulose)

Foundation wall R-value 41.00
Above grade wall assembly

(12″ of dense pack cellulose)

Above grade wall R-value 44.00
Cathedral ceiling assembly
Cathedral ceiling R-value

Windows and Doors

Window Assembly:

Accurate Dorwin triple-glazed fiberglass windows

Door Assembly:

Average window U-factor 0.22
Door U-Factor 0.24
Door Area 63

Mechanical Systems

Space cooling - Manufacturer & Model Mitsubishi,
Space heating - Manufacturer & Model Mitsubishi,
Domestic hot water - Manufacturer & Model Marathon
Domestic hot water - capacity 50
Ventilation - Manufacturer & Model UltimateAir,
Lighting Manufacturer and Model
Lighting Efficiency
Mechanical Equipment Installation Details and Comments

Envelope

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 0.46
Air Changes per hour, CFM50

General Process

Design for Adaptability:

Software Tools

Software Tools:

General modeling information:

Lessons Learned

Outcome of Project Goals:

Discrepancies:

Rebates and Financial Incentives

Federal incentives
Local incentives
State incentives
Utility incentives
Other incentives
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