Completion date


First floor is rented, two bedrooms one bath, one adult and two children, empty during the weekdays.
Second and third floor is owner-occupied, three bedrooms, three baths, two adults and one child, including an office. Owners work from home, so unit is occupied most of the time.

Days per year Building is fully occupied:


Two-family home. Second floor unit is also used as an architecture office.
Entire building was renovated including basement. Third floor (roof and knee wall) was completely demolished and rebuilt.

Type of Construction Retrofit
Number of buildings 2
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 3.0
Stories 3
Conditioned Building Volume 29,200 cu ft
Conditioned Floor Area 3,600 sq ft
Semiconditioned Floor Area 1,200 sq ft

Location and Climate Details

two-family residence

39 Revell Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
United States
Location Type Suburaban
Climate Region Zone 5
Köppen Climate Type Cfa
Lat. / Long. POINT (-72.6374918 42.3083343)
Elevation 160 ft
Solar Insolation 3.72 (kWh/m2/day)
Annual CDD and Base Temp 939 | 65 deg F
Annual HDD and Base Temp 6978 | 65 deg F


Site conditions:
previously developed land, preexisting structure(s)

Materials and Design Strategy


As a project for ourselves, we felt we could experiment a bit with materials. We used seconds from the mill of a new material, Boral's Truexterior, and milled it to a modern, square shiplap siding. The mill said they would not accept that job again, as the material is very hard to mill, but Boral is now producing siding profiles that do not need to be milled. Our project helped further this application!

We also used a new material for our front steps: Perennial Wood. It has been completely maintenance free and very stable for this high-impact weather location, but the density of the material also makes it quite slippery when wet. We added walk-off mats and grip strips to avoid slipping.

Special architectural measures:

Our main approach was to superinsulate and air seal as much as possible. We also removed a staircase on the south side of the building to allow more south light into one of the units.

LCA Description:


Indoor Environment Description:
We air sealed between the two units and gave each unit a separate ERV, so there is no cross-contamination. The ERVs provide fresh air without losing much heat (or cool in the summer) which is essential now that the house is super-tight. We also had a lot of squirrels in residence prior to construction as the house was vacant for a few years. We needed to treat all exposed wood with a bed-wetting solution.