Pro Tour: NZE Passive House & Historic Water-Powered Sawmill in Northern NH

Exterior Shot of Lancaster Passive House at Night

Event Date: 

Friday, November 18, 2016


Lancaster, NH
Lancaster, NH

CEU Information: 

CEUs: 2.5 AIA LU/HSW, 3.25 BPI, and certificates of participation are available

This tour gave attendees a chance to see a finished Passive House in northern New Hampshire, giving them insights into the building process and the performance data.

This home was designed and built in 2010 to the Passive House standard and was a finalist in the NESEA-sponsored Zero Net Energy Building Award at BuildingEnergy Boston in 2014. Built before cold climate heat pumps were widely available, this house is heated by five 475w electric resistance heaters and a wood stove. Hot water is provided by an 80 ft2 SDHW collector. Rounded out with a 7 kW array on the roof, this house produces on average 4000 kWh more than it uses on a net annual basis. With New Hampshire's new community net metering laws in place, this home sells electricity to its super insulated neighbor.  The home is also a producer of energy and it functions with regular wood stove usage which can be troublesome for very tight buildings.

Attendees also got a special "behind the scenes look" at the origins of the project when we visited the Garland Mill, a water-powered sawmill.  The mill is a net-energy producer that has been in continuous operation since 1856 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The project team gave attendees the full story behind the house: from conception, to execution, to performance data during occupancy. Because the house has been occupied since its construction, attendees had a chance to see five years’ worth of performance data and lessoned learned, hearing from the project team about the way real-world results have compared to projections.

Site Features
  • Single-Story Cape Style house; 1,674 sq.ft.
  • Was awarded 2nd place in BuildingEnergy Boston 2014 Zero Net Energy Building Award
  • Five 475W - Envi electric resistance heat wall mounts
  • Zehnder ComfoAir 200 HRV
  • 7.2 kW PV array produces approximately 8000 kWh annually; energy use only 4000 kWh; 200% offset
  • 12" DPC with 2" Polyiso wall assemblies
  • Other materials include: Eastern White Cedar cladding. Beach flooring. Plaster walls
  • View a complete energy case study on this project



12:30 PM

Doors open, registration, networking and coffee

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA, overview of the project by the host

1:45 PM

Group travels together by bus to home/project site

2:00 PM

Tour of home begins; attendees rotate through content-specific stations

3:15 PM

Group walks to Garland Mill Timberframes for tour of facility

4:00 PM

Attendees regroup to board bus back to meeting point

4:15 PM

Reception with light refreshments
4:30 PM Q&A Panel
5:00 PM Event Concludes




Pro Tour Series Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor:


BuildingEnergy Pro Tour
New York State Series Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor:


Event Sponsors