William A. Turner, PE- Building Envelope Engineer, CEO of Turner Building Science & Design, LLC
Harold Turner, PE- Developer/Owner, CEO of The HL Turner Group Inc
Steven M. Caulfield, PE,CIH- Mechanical Engineer, President of Turner Building Science & Design, LLC
Paul M. Betch, PE- Structural Engineer, VP of The HL Turner Group Inc
Jeffrey J. Harrison, PE- Energy Consultant, formerly with Turner Building Science & Design, LLC
David Hart, AIA - Project Architect, formerly with The HL Turner Group Inc
Ratings, Awards and Recognition
Energy Star HERS index rating: 2.0
Awards (if applicable):
BOSCH GREEN LIVING AWARD 2013
MARVIN ARCHITECT'S CHALLENGE SHOWDOWN PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD WINNER 2013
CORNERSTONE AWARDS (3) by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire (HBRANH) 2014
This project takes the long-term investment of a high energy performance home (Zero Net Energy) and adds function and value by adding a multi-generational use layout and incorporating aging-in-place features. Although privately funded, the project was used to demonstrate (via www.rcmzeroenergy.com) what could be accomplished in undertaking a ZNE residential construction (2011-2012) and to share the knowledge and explain reasons behind the approach. The purpose of the website was to educate owners, designers, builders, and developers to the how’s and why’s of undertaking high performance residential construction that starts with high performance enclosure design and ends with renewable energy technologies.
One story living is accomplished on the upper at-grade level. Given the extraordinary expense of assisted care and/or nursing home living, a modest investment in making a new home suitable for people to grow old in adds significant value to the home. A stacked washer-dryer laundry area across from the first floor powder room is sufficient to serve an older couple if/when the larger, lower level laundry room is no longer an option due to physical limitations. The garage has an extended depth and houses a dry storage room, as well as a 4’ wide ramp up the three steps to the entry area. The garage width is also enlarged for easier car egress mobility. Groceries can be “wheeled” in using a simple 2-wheel, lightweight, aluminum cart. The outdoor spa is included in the Net Zero design and is sunken into the deck with an inclined grab bar to facilitate an older person’s easy entry, and is roofed over to facilitate year round, all-weather use.
All of the passage doors on both levels are 36" wide (34" for pocket doors). The large NanaWall folding/sliding door to the 3-season room has an ADA threshold, and there is no step down from the interior space to the 3-season room. Space has been allocated in the home for wheelchair mobility and access. Simple ramps can be easily added later (if required) to transition the 8" differential height from the home’s interior to the outside rear deck. Pre-wiring and blocking has been included to allow for automatic door operator systems to be installed later (if required) on the entry door from the garage which already incorporates an ADA threshold.
Since we were focusing on an aging-in-place design, the lower level is readily convertible into a one level, two bedroom, in-law suite or caregiver suite by using the whole lower level finished space as a “two family” type, two bedroom design. It can also transform into a one bedroom caregiver suite by adding one simple straight partition wall to divide up the “gathering” space area; thereby splitting up the lower level space for dual use between upper and lower inhabitants. The gathering space already has a fully functioning kitchen along one wall. Direct access and parking for the lower level is also provided at the rear of the home. Alternatively, the same space could be used immediately for a younger extended family. There is ample outdoor living space at each level.
This project occupies a piece of land that was previously used as the “boneyard” of historic farmlands that were vibrant over the past two hundred years. The open space green “pasture” land to the south is now preserved as an agricultural conservation area by this project. The actual project structures sit on what once was the rocky, sloping woodland to the north. Crumbling stone walls have been rebuilt and the abundant wildlife is still able to feed and move about the property as they did before. Wild turkeys, hawks, owls, ducks, geese, herons, kingfishers, deer, bobcats, fox, bear and the occasional migrating bald eagle have all been observed. The public parking and boat launch facility across the pond is regularly used by fisherman and kayakers throughout three seasons, and by ice fisherman and skaters during the winter.
Concord, New Hampshire
Basis of Performance Claim
Conditioned Floor Area
4,100 sq ft
Total Cost of Project
Energy Data Type
Renewable Energy System Type(s)
Energy Star HERS index rating: 2.0
Energy Star Score
Net electricity usage (purchased)
Annual renewable energy generated
Envelope and Mechanicals
-4" Reinforced concrete w/radiant floor tubing
-6" EPS foam insulation
-Taped and sealed vapor barrier.
-12" sand bed which houses both the glycol filled gound loops from the solar hot water panels (upper layer) and the water filled ground loops (lower layer) from the geothermal heat pumps.
-Natural grade or compacted fill
Foundation wall assembly
The lower level walls are 8” Logix ICF concrete walls with 2-3/4” of high density foam on each face with an R27 insulation value extended down to the frost line and wall footing.
Above grade wall assembly
The upper walls are double 2x4 at 24” on center, wood stud walls separated by a 3.5” cavity. The outer wall and cavity have 7” of dense pack cellulose insulation and vapor barrier. The inner wall (inside the vapor barrier) is insulated with 3.5” of rockwool insulation.
1) Wood Frame w/Alum Cladding, Marvin Ultimate, Inswing French Door, Low E Argon
2) Fiberglass, Marvin Integrity Ultrex, Inswing French Door, Low E Argon
3) Fiberglass, Marvin Integrity Ultrex, Sliding Patio Door, Low E Argon
4) Wood Frame, Nanawall Sliding/Folding Door System, Triple Pane, Low E Argon