Fink-Simko Zero Net Energy Deep Energy Retrofit

After shivering for 20 winters inside their drafty 1576 sq ft 1945 Garrison Colonial in Melrose, MA, owners David Fink and Barbara Simko requested a MassSave energy audit. The auditor stated that the house would be an excellent candidate for the National Grid DER program. Thus began their journey towards zero net energy.

The owners initially planned to remodel the house by replacing the kitchen and building an addition. Working with architect Steve Baczek and energy efficiency specialist Mike Duclos, the design gradually evolved via the National Grid DER program to one that did not add square footage. Instead, the project focused on energy efficiency, making super-insulation improvements per DER guidelines, lowering window heat loss, increasing window solar gain, and recovering living space occupied by obsolete mechanical systems.

The super-insulated all-electric DER renovation home includes full envelope insulation and air sealing, high solar gain triple pane windows, new doors, and new heating and ventilation equipment. The chimney and existing oil fired steam heating system were removed and replaced by two mini-split air source heat pumps. The existing gas hot water heater was replaced by an electric heat pump water heater. An HRV was added to recover exhaust air heat and provide adequate ventilation. A drain water heat recovery heat exchanger was installed in the basement to recover heat energy normally lost down the shower drains. Because the southern facing main roof was ideal for PV, a high efficiency PV array was added to solar power the house to reach the zero net energy goal. The project was completed in October 2013.

The DER project was one of six NESEA ZNEBA finalists in March 2015. For a 1 year time period starting on Jan 7th of 2014, actual performance exceeded zero net energy. Measured performance was:

9103 kWh - PV Energy Production (=100%)

8395 kWh - House Energy Usage (=92.2% of PV Production)

0708 kWh - Net Energy Surplus to Grid (=7.8% of PV Production)

Quick Facts

General

Location
85 Laurel St
Melrose, MA02176
United States
Building Type Single-family residence
Project Type Zero Energy
Basis of Performance Claim Verified,
Bedrooms 3
Conditioned Floor Area 2 706

Energy Summary

Energy Data Type Measured,
Renewable Energy System Type(s) Photovoltaics,
Ratings
Annual renewable energy generated 9 103

Envelope and Mechanicals

Subslab assembly

2 in XPS rigid foam (R-5/in) over existing concrete slab with drain mat below + 3/4 in plywood (R-1.25/in) flooring above.

Foundation wall assembly

2 in of XPS rigid foam (R-5/in) + 2 in of polyiso rigid foam (R-6.5/in), 3 in closed cell spray foam on rim joists, 0.4 in Spaceloft (R-10.3/in) used instead of polyiso near stairway to reduce thickness and maintain reasonable stair width

Above grade wall assembly

4 in of polyiso rigid foam (R-6.5/in) on exterior + 3.5 in of blown cellulose (R-3.4/in) in original wall cavities + 3/4 in plywood (R-1.25 /in) sheathing + 0.75 inch dead air space (R-1.0/in) + 0.5 inch gypsum board (R-0.9/in) + 5/16 in cement board siding (R-0.48/in)

Door Assembly

2 First Floor Entry Doors - Fiberglass, Therma-Tru, R-4, R-5.3
2 Basement Entry Fire Doors - Fiberglass, Therma Tru, R-7.1 base door
On basement doors, added 0.4 in Spaceloft (R-10.3/in) + 2.0 in XPS (R-5/in) to achieve R-21.2
Door average Rval = 7.4
Door average U = 1/7.4 = 0.14

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 1.43

Project Team:

Mechanical EngineerTeam Member: David Fink Energy ConsultantTeam Member: Mike Duclos Energy ConsultantTeam Member: Paul Eldrenkamp

Other Team Members:

Barbara Simko
Interior Designer

Steven Baczek
Architect

Dave Legg, Oliver Klein, Marie McMahon
National Grid
Deep Energy Retrofit Program Sponsor

Gary Bergeron, David Joyce, Alex Cheimets, Brad King
Synergy Construction
Builder

Mark Durrenberger, Jonathan Williams
New England Clean Energy
PV Installer

Patrik Muzilla
European Architectural Supply
High Performance Windows

Barry Stephenson, Aubrey Gewehr
Zehnder America
HRV & Ventilation

Honorata Loomis
Building Science Corporation
Energy Consultant

Brian Tierney
MassSave
Energy Consultant

James Cobb
VP / Branch Manager
Eastern Bank
Home Equity Loan, Heat Loan

Ashley Sullivan
MassSave
Heat Loan

Victor Fink
MindInMotion
Photography

Ratings:

Awards:

Completion

Completion Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Scope

Project was a zero net energy DER complete renovation effecting all rooms. Insulation was added per National Grid DER requirements. Oil steam heating system was replaced with air source heat mini-split heatpumps to heat and cool the house. The original chimney was removed. The gas water heater was replaced by a heat pump water heater and the gas stove was replaced with an electric induction stove. A drain heat recovery system was added to recover shower drain heat. Kitchen was relocated over garage, dining room was enlarged, and both bathrooms were renovated. Garage door walls and garage door were also insulated. High solar gain low heat loss triple pane Argon filled windows replaced original windows. 7.35 kW PV array added to solar power the house to achieve net zero energy.

Type of Construction Renovated,
Number of buildings
Floor area of each building
Bedrooms 3
Stories 2
Conditioned Building Volume 18 210
Conditioned Floor Area 2 706

Location and Climate Details

Single-family residence

Address
85 Laurel St
Melrose, MA02176
United States
Location Type Suburaban
Climate Region Zone 5
Köppen Climate Type Cfa
Lat. / Long. POINT (-71.054738 42.454879)
Elevation 120
Solar Insolation 4.47 kWh/m2/day
Annual CDD and Base Temp 927 | 75 deg F
Annual HDD and Base Temp 6484 | 68 deg F

Site

Site Conditions:

previously developed land, preexisting structure(s),

Site Description:

Site is 60 ft wide x 100 ft long with a measured annual solar access average of 87% using Solmetric SunEye. One ash tree on the back southern boundary blocks some sunlight and a very large oak tree on a neighbor's property to the east blocks some additional early morning light from the PV in the summer.

Monthly Energy Data and Utilities

Energy Data Type: Verified,

Electric Utility: National Grid

Gas Utility: None

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: PV is a 7.35 kW SunPower E19/245 3 x 10 array with Enphase M210 microinverters. This array was installed by New England Clean Energy and was officially connected to the grid and generating power on Jan 8, 2013. As of Aug 5, 2015, the PV array has generated 23633 kWh or 9148 kWh average per year over 31 months with no maintenance activities. For a one year period starting on Jan 8, 2014, the PV system generated 9103 kWh with 708 kWh sent to the grid and 8395 kWh sent to the house.

Annual renewable energy generated 9 103
Annual Renewable Energy Generated Data Type Measured,
Power Rating
Renewable Energy System Type(s) Photovoltaics,
Source of Annual Production Data Annual production value is metered and represents gross production from PV array.

Walls and Roof

The building envelope meets National Grid DER pilot house guidelines.

Subslab assembly

2 in XPS rigid foam (R-5/in) over existing concrete slab with drain mat below + 3/4 in plywood (R-1.25/in) flooring above.

Subslab R-value 10.90
Slab edge assembly
Slab edge R-value
Foundation wall assembly

2 in of XPS rigid foam (R-5/in) + 2 in of polyiso rigid foam (R-6.5/in), 3 in closed cell spray foam on rim joists, 0.4 in Spaceloft (R-10.3/in) used instead of polyiso near stairway to reduce thickness and maintain reasonable stair width

Foundation wall R-value 23.00
Above grade wall assembly

4 in of polyiso rigid foam (R-6.5/in) on exterior + 3.5 in of blown cellulose (R-3.4/in) in original wall cavities + 3/4 in plywood (R-1.25 /in) sheathing + 0.75 inch dead air space (R-1.0/in) + 0.5 inch gypsum board (R-0.9/in) + 5/16 in cement board siding (R-0.48/in)

Above grade wall R-value 40.20
Cathedral ceiling assembly
Cathedral ceiling R-value

Windows and Doors

Window Assembly:

R-8 Schuco SI82 U-PVC tilt & turn casement

Door Assembly:

2 First Floor Entry Doors - Fiberglass, Therma-Tru, R-4, R-5.3
2 Basement Entry Fire Doors - Fiberglass, Therma Tru, R-7.1 base door
On basement doors, added 0.4 in Spaceloft (R-10.3/in) + 2.0 in XPS (R-5/in) to achieve R-21.2
Door average Rval = 7.4
Door average U = 1/7.4 = 0.14

Average window U-factor 0.13
Door U-Factor 0.14
Door Area 72

Mechanical Systems

Space cooling - Manufacturer & Model Mitsubishi Mini Split MUZ-FE09NA (Outside) / MSZ-FE09NA (Inside),
Space heating - Manufacturer & Model Mitsubishi Mini Split MUZ-FE09NA (Outside) / MSZ-FE09NA (Inside),
Domestic hot water - Manufacturer & Model GE GEH50DEEDSCA, EFR = 2.4
Domestic hot water - capacity 50
Ventilation - Manufacturer & Model Zehnder CA-350, 87% efficiency, measured balanced flow 61/95/155 cfm,
Lighting Manufacturer and Model
Lighting Efficiency
Mechanical Equipment Installation Details and Comments

Blower door testing done both before and after DER completion to measure effect of air sealing measures.
CFM50 ACH50 EqLA(CFM/sq ft of enclosure)
Pre DER 2798 10.32 0.66
Post DER 434 1.43 0.09

Envelope

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 1.43
Air Changes per hour, CFM50 434.00

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

$12778.00 Federal Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit for PV System
$500.00 Federal Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit for Energy Efficient Windows

Local incentives
State incentives

$1000.00 from MA for PV system

Utility incentives

$1000.00 from National Grid for Heat Pump Water Heater
$45937.00 from National Grid for DER Incentive Payments

Other incentives
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