NESEA Green Buildings Open House Tour
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Free and open to the public
Locations have been announced again for the homes available on the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s (NESEA) annual Green Buildings Open House Tour. This event allows you to visit a variety of homes with eco-friendly features, ranging from insulation improvements, to renewable heating systems and of course lots of solar!
As in years past, many ReVision customers are on the tour and welcome you to visit their home between 10am-4pm on Saturday, October 13th.
View Green Buildings Open House 2012 in a larger map
Portland/Southern Maine Area
62 Cumberland Ave ~ Portland, ME
Paul Ledman’s eco-friendly 3 unit apartment produces 9,600 kilowatt hours of solar electricity annually. It uses air source heat pumps, a heat recovery ventilation system, and solar thermal hot water. It hosts three units and over 4,500 square feet… but no furnace is required! See how advanced building technology and efficient energy systems combine in this unique home.
Deb and Jim McDonough
6 Minuteman Drive ~ Scarborough, ME
This family home features 60 Apricus evacuated tube collectors and a 105 gallon Stiebel Eltron solar storage tank. This installation is designed to cover a majority of the domestic hot water for the family of six, allowing the boiler to stay off during the non heating months. This is a retrofit installation on a standard construction house. This house also has retrofit radiant heat, and cellulose reinsulation. The solar hot water system was installed in 2007. A 3.3 kW solar electric array was installed in 2009 and another 2 kW in 2012. They also have an Okofen pellet boiler. If you’ve never been to this home before it is a wonderful place to stop. Jim & Deb explain the how each system works, give a complete tour and offer resources to how you can become more energy efficient.
William & Renate Riggs
32 Sea Spray Drive ~ Biddeford, ME
This home has both a solar domestic and solar space heating system as well as a recent solar electric system! The Riggs wanted to cover as much of their heat load as they could with solar so utilized the entire south facing roof on their Sea Spray Drive home. There are (5) 30 tube Apricus collector arrays to total 150 tubes. Propylene glycol travels through the manifold of the collectors, getting hot then circulates down through copper piping into the heat exchange coils of two 105 gallon solar storage tanks. This system provides the domestic hot water for this house as well as supplements its heating supply. When the solar is not able to keep up with the heat load a high efficiency propane boiler turns on to provide seemless heat and hot water. The boiler installed is a Triangle Tube Excellence 110 modulating, condensing gas boiler. This boiler is rated at 95% efficiency and is Energy Star certified. In the spring of 2012 (18) 230 watt solar electric panels were installed. This system is grid connected and expected to produce over 400 kwhrs of clean, reliable electricity a month. Stop by to visit this super-efficient, beautiful ocean side home!
78 Loon Lane ~ Woolwich, ME
On this home is a recently installed solar space heating system consisting of five Wagner Euro C-20 solar collectors, a super insulated 160-gallon Stiebel Eltron solar storage tank with top & bottom heat exchange coils, Stiebel Eltron Flowstar pump station, and a super-insulated Marathon 50-gallon hot water tank with an electric element. The system is designed for domestic hot water and supplemental space heat with back-up coming from an existing Peerless boiler and wood heat. The solar hot water system will produce more than 41 Million
BTUs of clean renewable heat energy annually and, by reducing that amount of fossil fuel, it will eliminate over 8,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions each year.
Sam & Pam Flick
739 New Gloucester Road ~ North Yarmouth, ME
Recently installed in 2012 are three Wagner C-20 solar hot water collectors connected to a super insulated 105-gallon Stiebel Eltron solar storage tank with top & bottom heat exchange coils. A Stiebel Eltron Flowstar pump station circulates hot glycol from roof top to heat exchange coil in the tank heating the tank indirectly. The system is backed up by the existing boiler but is expected to allow the boiler to remain off for six months of the year, May through October. This fall the Flicks will be installing a 20 panel solar electric tracking system. The system will produce an average of 700 kwhrs of electricity a month, offsetting their home and business needs! Be sure to ask about the upcoming tracker installation while there!
Rob & Leslie Taisey, Assured Solar Energy
460 Mountfort Road ~ North Yarmouth, ME
The home of Assured Solar Energy showcases a 2.9kW, 18 module Schuco grid-tied PV system, a Schuco 3 Slim-V (flat plate collectors) domestic hot water system, and four hot air Sunsiaray collectors by Northern Comfort. Between the PV system and the solar domestic hot water system preheating the Taisey’s water in their electric water heater, their electric bill has dropped from over $100 to around $15/month including all the electricity usage for both home and business.
18 Edgewater Ln ~ Saco, ME
This is a single family home in southern Maine that meets both the tough German based Passive House and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standards. The homeowners expect to add solar thermal and solar voltaic to get us to a net zero house. The homeowners are also working to incorporate universal design/age in place features, as well as concepts from architect Sarah Sushanka’s Not So Big House books. All of this wrapped in an appealing facade that is not just a pretty face, but one that will provide years of minimal to no maintenance, and remains in tune with the neighborhood. More at: http://edgewaterhaus.com/
785 River Road ~ St George, ME
Building Features: Grid-tied Photovoltaic, solar hot water
The humble Farmer built his own solar thermal hot water system for his 200 year-old salt box farm house on the St. George peninsula. Eight flat panels collect the sun’s rays to pre-heat his domestic hot water and cellar floor using a non-toxic anti-freeze mixture via a two tank system. The home also features a 1380 watt, grid-tied PV system installed by ReVision Energy in 2009. Six 230-Watt Canadian Solar PV modules and an Outback inverter supply solar electricity all year long. The system is mounted on an owner-built rack on the chicken house. The rack will accommodate additional homemade PV modules as soon as possible. humble says, “I was motivated by greed. I wanted to save money.” He knew the price of gas and oil would go up, so he decided to go solar and says, “I haven’t looked back.” humble is please with both systems and welcomes visitors anytime.
Directions: From Route 1 in Thomaston, take 131 South towards Tenants Harbor. Go 5.5 miles. The yellow farmhouse is on the left side of the road, shortly after passing Seal Harbor Rd.
Puppy Dog Cottage
Harbor Lane ~ Spruce Head, ME
Building Features: recycled & local building materials, super-insulated walls/roof.
Kaplan Thomson Architects deigned this unique and energy efficient cottage on False Whitehead Harbor in Spruce Head, Maine where an old decrepit cottage once teetered. Many of the materials used in this home are made from recycled content, are environmentally friendly or come from local sources. The same virtual footprint from the original home was used, including utilizing a similar pier foundation to allow the natural drainage patterns to remain. The house is constructed with a super insulated envelope, including an additional R-10 on the underside of the floor framing. Dense packed cellulose insulation and careful air-sealing ensures that the home is constructed to be air-tight. The south-facing roof is constructed at a 60-degree angle – the ideal slope for solar hot water collectors to generate the necessary heat in winter.
Directions: From downtown Rockland take route 73 for 3.3 miles to the village of Spruce Head. Turn left onto Island Rd and go 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Harbor lane and take the road to the end.
Sail Lofts Apartments
75 Knox Street ~ Thomaston
Building Features: Solar Photovoltaic potential, super insulated, passive ventilation
Close to the boat yards on the Thomaston waterfront, the previous building was originally used as a sail loft in the 1800s. For years it had been occupied by 12 apartments but in October 2011 a devastating fire swept through the upper half of the building. Fortunately no one was badly injured. The owners approached Kaplan Thomson Architect to have the new building converted from two levels with 12 apartments to three levels with 9 apartments, with significant energy efficiency improvements. The roof is solar ready with 16kW potential. Tight shell construction (0.5 ACH50 blower door test), R-20 sub-slab, R-60 roof, R-45 wall insulation, dense pack cellulose insulation, double glazed windows, and passive ventilation work together to keep residents comfy and energy efficient all year long.
Directions: Knox Street is located just off Route 1 from downtown Thomaston.
12 Lawrence Street ~ Rockland, ME
Building Features: Grid-tied solar, Passive Solar, Recycled Materials, Super Insulated Walls/
Roof, Energy Star Appliances, Energy Star rated, FSC Certified Wood, LEED certified, Local Materials, Non-Toxic Products.
Shawn and Courtney Buterbaugh approached Kaplan Thomson Architects with the goal of designing a home that would have low to net zero energy needs. It features a 2 kW solar electric array as well as stunning views of the breakwater lighthouse & Penobscot Bay. The house is aligned to capture winter sun from the south. Efforts to keep the house hold comfortable and energy efficient in all weather conditions include fiberglass triple glazed windows (R-4.5), insulated floating slab (R-20), 12″ thick double stud framed walls (R-40) and a super insulated roof (R-60).
Directions: From Route 1 in downtown Rockland go south on Main St (Route 73) for 0.7 mile and turn left onto Mechanic St. The road curves turns to the left at the waterfront and becomes Atlantic St. Go three short blocks and turn left on Lawrence St. The home is the second on the left.
Village Road ~ Belfast, ME
Building Features: Passive Solar heating, grid-tied solar Photovoltaic, LEED rated, super insulated walls/roof
This home in the Belfast cohousing and Ecovillage showcases how active and passive solar meet energy needs. ReVision Energy recently installed a 2.64 kW grid-tied solar electric array. The home is designed by G O Logic using the Passive House concept, a highly insulated building heated primarily by passive solar gain.
Directions: From downtown Belfast, head west on Route 3.Turn Left on Edgecomb Road
(the turn is 0.4 mi after the U of Maine Hutchinson Center). Take the 1st Right onto Tufts Rd. Turn Left on Village Rd. Look for the tour signs.
Jennifer & Hans Albee
35 Moosehead Trail Hwy ~ Brooks, ME
Building Features: Domestic Solar Hot Water, insulation improvements
Since having an energy audit in the fall of 2009, the Albees have been tackling their 100+ year old village home’s energy issues bit by bit. The Albees participated in Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program in 2010 and decided to install a solar hot water system to preheat a very efficient Rinnai on-demand hot water heater, which has been a big plus since having a baby this past winter. They also installed a substantial amount of insulation in their attic, which as Jennifer notes “made the second floor of our house livable.” In the future they hope to improve their basement via a vapor barrier and insulation. Both Hans and Jennifer are proud to be working in the solar industry as employees at ReVision Energy in Liberty, ME.
Directions: From Belfast take Routes 3 to Route 7 North to the center of Brooks. At the flashing light, go straight. The Albee home is the seventh house on the right after the intersection.
Rusty & Marty Mayberry
111 Quaker Hill ~ Unity, ME
Building Features: Grid-tied solar photovoltaic, domestic solar hot water, wood pellet stove, passive solar.
Last year Rusty Mayberry helped his son Ian to build a solar panel for a high school science project. It got him thinking “Geez, it’d be pretty good if we had a whole house full of these.” So the they decided to install solar hot water collectors and a 3.29 kilowatt (14 panel) grid-tied PV array. The two systems combined will offset over 10,500 lbs. of CO2 annually. Rusty’s wife, Marty likes their solar energy systems because they will reduce their future bills. Once the solar hot water system went live in January, they stopped using oil to heat anything and Rusty turned their boiler completely off. Wood pellets, passive solar, and their new solar hot water collectors now provide all the heat and domestic hot water they need. Rusty says, “By putting solar on the house we’ve paid forward, because it’s just a matter of time when the two systems will actually pay for themselves… then you just put money in your own pocket.”
Directions: From Downtown Unity go southwest on Main Street (Route 202 & 9) to Quaker Hill Rd. The Mayberry’s driveway is on the left just after the Unity College Campus.
90 Quaker Hill Road ~ Unity, ME
Buildings Features: Passive solar, grid-tied solar Photovoltaic, LEED rated, high-efficiency insulation, recycled & local building materials
Unity College has pledged that their campus will become climate-neutral as soon as possible. Three buildings are featured as part of the tour.
The TerraHaus is the first Passive House-certified student residence in the country and features an evacuated tube solar hot water system. Space heating needs are met primarily through passive approaches including solar orientation, super-insulation, and superior air sealing — with backup heat from a cold-climate heat pump and small electric baseboard radiators. Evacuated tube solar hot water collectors provide more than 60% of the building’s annual domestic hot water needs.
The Unity House is a 1,937-square on-campus home of Unity College’s president and family. This net-zero carbon residence also hosts campus events and classes. It is a symbol of the college’s sustainability outreach efforts, and features a 5.4 kW photovoltaic array, a solar hot water system, and a cold climate heat pump. The Unity House produces enough electricity to meet its annual needs. The LEED Platinum home for the college president uses passive solar design, high-efficiency thermal insulation, and was built with recycled, non-toxic, locally sourced materials.
The Quimby Library, Unity College
This September ReVision Energy installed 144 solar electric panels on the roof of Unity College’s Quimby Library and the Thomashow Learning Laboratory. The 37 kW array is expected to produce about 45,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually – more than 80% of the library’s previous average annual demand. The project is being financed through a Power Purchase Agreement– an innovative financing approach that allows ReVision Energy – more accurately, a third-party LLC specifically formed to develop this project – to own and operate the system on our campus for six years while Unity College purchases from them any electricity produced by the system.
Directions: From Downtown Unity go southwest on Main Street (Route 202 & 9) to Quaker Hill Rd. The College is on the left. For the TerraHaus park near the house or at the Welcome Center. For the Unity House enter between the white residence halls and proceed to back of the parking lot.
Mary & Dick Wilson
226 Gray Road ~ Winter Harbor, ME
Buildings Features: Solar Domestic Hot Water
Since 2009 these homeowners have been getting their domestic hot water from the sun. Installed are two 20 tube solar evacuated tube collector arrays heating water in an 80 gallon solar storage tank. Propylene glycol gets hot on the rooftop collectors and circulates down through piping into a heat coil located at the bottom of the tank, therefore indirectly heating the water. As long as the solar is able to heat the tank sufficiently the back-up boiler will remain off.
Directions: From Route 1 going north from Ellsworth, it is 17 miles to Route 186 (look for the signs for Schoodic Point). Turn right onto Route 186 and go 6.5 miles. Turn right at the T intersection in Winter Harbor and go 1 mile. Turn left on Gray Road and go ½ mile to the water. Continue along the shore and make a sharp right at the wooden gate. Then go a hundred yards up the driveway to the Wilson house.
234 Southwest Road ~ Canterbury, NH
Installed are (2) Wagner Euro C20 flat plate solar hot water collectors connected to an 80-Gallon Caleffi solar storage tank with an electric element serving as the back-up. There is a Stiebel Eltron Flowstar pump station circulating hot glycol from rooftop to heat exchange coil located in the tank heating the water indirectly. Also at this house are (16) 240-watt Canadian Solar photovoltaic panels totaling 3.84 kW. This system is expected to produce on average 400 kwhrs of electricity a month. This system is grid connected and using Enphase microinverters to convert the DC electricity the panels make to AC electricity the home uses. Energy produced by the panels can be viewed from an online portal!
101 Mill Pond Way ~ Portsmouth, NH 03801
Based generally on European passive house model: highly insulated, south facing and as air-tight with fewest openings as possible (fresh air, heat recovery ventilation system included). Yard is half vegetable, flower, butterfly shrubs and small fruit gardens. Small apartment has heat pump; main house has small propane fireplace. Mostly heated by sun, stored in thermal mass of concrete floor; floor and walls highly insulated.
Plymouth Water & Sewer District
227 Old North Main Street ~ Plymouth, NH
This demonstration project was funded by an ARRA grant, NH Office of Energy and Planning, Department of Energy, the NH Electric Coop and the Plymouth Village Water and Sewer District. An existing office building enjoy a deep energy retrofit bringing the roof up to R-80 and the walls to R-43. An additional grant funded the 9.4kw solar project which should allow the town to be a net power exporter during the course of the year.
121 Main St. ~ Salisbury, MA 01952
The Whitleys set out with a goal to take control of their energy costs, save money and the environment. Since having a Geothermal heating and cooling system installed in their home in 2009, the Whitley’s have eliminated the need of their pre-existing home heating oil. Last year, they decided to take the next step by capturing the power of the sun to offest their electricity bill. Installed on their garage are (30) 230-watt Sunpower panels, which practically eliminates their need for electricity from the utility company and the use of fossil fuels. The Whitleys welcome all interested in learning more about their solar and geothermal systems to their Salisbury home on Saturday, Oct, 13th, anytime between 10am-3pm.