Three NH homes win annual green building competition
Homes in Franconia, Conway and Concord honored in NHSaves net-zero design-build contest
Whether it’s building in a flood plain or designing a smaller footprint, homeowners are working with architects and builders throughout New Hampshire to construct creative, energy-efficient homes that meet their unique challenges and vision for a comfortable home.
The third annual NHSaves Drive to Net Zero Home Competition once again showed that homeowners across the state are building homes that embrace the best in green building.
“Going ‘small’ was the best choice for overall cost-effectiveness for our budget and, more importantly, the environment,” said John and Barbara Williams of Franconia of their 1,300-square-foot home, built by Adam Nyborg and Tilia Restoration of Franconia. “Minimizing was the theme.”
Their home was one of three honored by the NHSaves utility partners for embodying the best in energy-efficient home-building practices. Eversource was the Williamses’ utility partner.
The competition was introduced in 2017 as a design-and-build competition for single- and multifamily homes. Prizes are awarded to the top three entries: $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.
And while a minimal footprint was important to the Williamses, so was a commitment to being as energy efficient as possible.
“Whenever possible, we used local, green and/or more sustainable or durable building materials,” they said. “Our floors are hard troweled concrete slabs that should last forever. Our roof is steel and should outlive us and hopefully be recyclable.”
The triple-pane windows were manufactured by Matthews Brothers, located in Maine, and its pine shiplap siding is both economical and sustainable.
The other winning homes were:
• Second place: The Jerry and Corrine Curran home in Conway. Beam Construction of North Sandwich was the builder and Eversource was the utility partner.
• Third place: The Daniel DiPiro and Carol Voloshin home in Concord. RH Irving of Salisbury was the builder and Unitil was the utility partner.
The DiPiro/Voloshin home is built near the Contoocook River on an open foundation that exceeds the FEMA 100-year flood elevation height.
“Of course, this means the underside of our house is exposed, which makes our net-zero house unusual. Our builder had to innovate,” DiPiro said.
“What we have learned from this competition is that more people are looking to build net zero every year. Of course, there is the positive impact it has on our environment, but also the impact it has on energy savings,” said Michael Loughlin, energy efficiency services program manager for Eversource. “There have been some brilliant designs and ideas to make it happen.”
Net-zero homes produce as much energy as they consume by minimizing energy use through efficiency and meeting their remaining needs through renewable energy systems. Homes entering the Drive to Net Zero Home Competition are participants of the Energy Star Homes program. Homes earning the Energy Star label use 15% to 30% less energy than typical new homes.