The Torcellini Residence, a three-bedroom 1920’s bungalow style home, is designed to emphasize durability, reduce consumption, and improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA) acted as the HERS rater and provided ENERGY STAR v3.1, Indoor airPLUS, and the DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes certification support. Entered into the 2016 CT Zero Energy Challenge, the Torcellini Residence won the Lowest Construction Cost category ($83/sf), and was involved in a tie for Overall Winner.
Relying on passive design, the home’s orientation maximizes solar gain during cold months while generous overhangs provide summer shading. Using CO2 as refrigerant, a Sanden SanCO2 air-to-water heat pump provides heat for the radiant floors and the domestic hot water. As an alternative to typical refrigerants, CO2 has no ozone layer depletion and minimal global warming impact. Cooling and supplemental heat are provided by a ductless mini-split heat pump. Double stud walls with 12” of blown in batts (BIBS) are R50 and the cathedral ceilings with strapping on rafters are R55 (BIBS) while the attic area is over R80. Solar panels are clip mounted on a 30 degree metal roof system providing 9.4kW of renewable energy and reducing the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index from 35 to 2. Energy efficiency is further enhanced by LED lighting throughout the home. Lighting fixtures, electrical plates and kitchen cabinets were painstakingly reclaimed to meet the aesthetic and limit the amount of new material produced for finishes.
To promote energy independence and resiliency, the home has a root cellar and will be outfitted with a battery storage system for times when the grid is down. Furthering their commitment to low impact living, the Torcellini’s produce much of what they consume through vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and farm animals such as turkeys, chickens and pigs. They also have a zero VOC approach to everything that’s brought into the home from the mineral paint on the walls and plant based floor finish to the cleaning products used daily.
Zero Energy Ready / Near Zero Energy
Basis of Performance Claim
Zero Energy Program
Conditioned Floor Area
3,597 sq ft
Energy Data Type
Zero Energy Program
Renewable Energy System Type(s)
DOE Zero Energy Ready Home; ENERGY STAR v3.1; Indoor airPLUS
Envelope and Mechanicals
Subslab has R-Value of 10.
Foundation wall assembly
Basement root cellar thermally isolated from house including dedicated ventilation system to maintain constant temperature of less than 55⁰F.
Above grade wall assembly
There is 12 inches of blown in blanket insulation in the cavity between double stud walls. The total R-Value is 50