Project: Private Residence, Hampton Bays, New York
As an Architect, I feel it is my obligation to design buildings that are not only beautiful and meet my Client’s needs & expectations, but are ALSO good stewards of the earth, energy and utility. The great Swiss Architect, LeCorbusier, proclaimed in 1923 that “the house is a machine for living”. A visionary statement that is more relevant than ever in our contemporary environment.
The operation of Buildings consume 40% of the world’s energy. Housing in the United States is a massive component in this statistic. How many of us growing up even considered this topic would carry so much weight in today’s world. Yet, as households across our country find that month to month energy costs continue to rise and pay their checks do not. Energy bills are choking families everywhere. That fact is, the cost of fossil fuels are not coming down any time soon and no matter what the Energy Company’s proclaim as the next “Silver Bullet”, these are 50 year solutions at best. We can’t count on top down solutions any longer!
Design can make a difference! It is my belief that millions of small solutions can have a greater impact than singular larger ones. This is the main idea behind the ENERGY STAR program developed and operated by the EPA and certain States who chose to take part. The fundamental goal of the program is put forth a series of guidelines that provide a framework for Architects, Builders and Home Owners to design and develop more energy efficient, sustainable buildings. Since it’s inception in 1982, It has had a significant impact in reducing our country’s energy use, carbon footprint and is responsible for thousands of products used by people around the world.
Sheridan Green is a residence in Hampton Bays, New York that will be an Energy Star qualified home, achieving at a minimum, a Tier 3 (out of 4) rating from the program. The primary energy index used to measure the energy efficiency of a building is the HERS index (Home Energy Rating System). The system works as follows: 0 = best (net zero energy consumption to energy generation ratio), 100 = worst. A HERS rating of 70 is the minimum rating in which a building can be considered eligible for the program. Sheridan Green has a preliminary HERS rating of 6. We are going for 0!
Buildings can generate and use energy in numerous ways known as ACTIVE and PASSIVE design strategies. An ACTIVE design strategy would be a solar photovoltaic array that creates electric and is used by the structure itself. A PASSIVE strategy would be the winter sun, penetrating deep into the house and providing free heat by warming the interior space. Good design uses these principals as part of its palette.
The following outlines how this project, Sheridan Green approaches these topics, as well as sustainable design practices at all levels of construction and presents a template for considering the design for any house or building. These ideas together represent a new attitude towards making houses. MODERN-HOMESTEADING. Your property, your energy, your choice!
Any construction endeavor is a carefully orchestrated operation composed of many people, all of which provided their knowledge and expertise as the project moves along. As the Architect and General Contractor of this project, it is up to me to assemble this esteemed group of individuals and companies. They are as follows from left to right in the pictures below:
- Chris Recchion: HVAC
- Larry Musso: Plumbing
- Frazer P. Dougherty (white hat): Energy Star Consultant, LEED AP
- Christopher Jeffrey: Architect, General Contractor, Chief Pointer
- John Luciano: Electrician
- Bob Barauskas, Speonk Lumber: Materials
- Scott Downs, New Town Construction: Excavation, Septic, Grading
- Carlos Alves: Concrete
- Dave Wandoloski, New Century Construction: Framing, Siding
- Richard Martin, Martin’s Roofing: EPDM, Metal Standing Seam, Asphalt Shingles
- Panorama Glass: Insulated Panels, Glass Railings
- Robert Casola, Casola Well Drilling: Geo-thermal & Domestic Wells
- American Solar Partners: Photovoltaic System