The design and construction process of the Butler’s home utilized the “Nature’s Envelope” concept to preserve and protect native vegetation and trees. An arborist was hired to evaluate trees and to site the house prior to construction. Most trees were preserved throughout the building process and those removed were reused as mulch to provide soil moisture, protection during construction and promote healthy root and plant growth. Additionally, the homeowners committed to a pesticide free yard and garden.
On the interior, low flow fixtures with aerators on all faucets and dual flush low water-use toilets help maximize water efficiency on site. The house also includes ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator. Outside, the landscape plan added additional native vegetation with drought tolerant plants to reduce irrigation requirements. Furthermore, rainwater harvesting has been implemented on site and is reused to irrigate landscape beds and a vegetable garden.
Energy and Atmosphere:
The Butler Residence is an ENERGY STAR Certified home and received a score of 60 on the HERS Index, which translates to 25% more energy efficient than a home built to current building code practices. The solar hot water system provides all the water heating needs for the entire house and 2 Solatubes provide natural daylighting in the great room. Ceiling fans and lighting fixtures are ENERGY STAR rated and 90% of the lights installed are energy saving CFL’s or fluorescents on dimmers. An ENERGY STAR rated high efficiency 16 SEER variable speed heat pump provides desired heating and cooling needs. The HVAC system becomes even more efficient through the usage of humidity-controlling programmable thermostats and ductwork sealed with mastic paste. Furthermore, the plumbing and duct system are located entirely within the sealed and foam insulated conditioned attic or crawl space.
Materials and Resources:
Engineered wood was used for walls and for the attic and floor trusses which cuts down on the amount of virgin lumber and materials required during construction. Bamboo hardwood floors were incorporated in the main living areas. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable and has a water-based, solvent-free finish. Carpet in the bedrooms and bonus room are made from 100% recycled PETE #2 bottles. Porch furnishings are labeled with an FSC certification and the kitchen table is made from recycled wood and rubber. The Hardiboard fiber cement siding for the home resists fire, rot, and insects.
Indoor Environmental Quality:
Low or no VOC containing paints, finishes, carpets, and flooring were incorporated into the interior design to reduce the amount of toxins released during off-gassing. Also, the HVAC system incorporates an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) for fresh air intake of outdoor air into the home while recycling outgoing air and its energy.
B+O Design Studio; Scott Ogden