JKA Achieves ENERGY STAR Tier III and a HERS score of “24″ with new home in Newton, MA. This equates to an energy performance that is well beyond the strict requirements of the newly implemented stretch-code (stretch code requires a HERS score of 80 or less).


Super Efficient Envelope
Advanced construction techniques, effective insulation,  and high performance windows and doors are orchestrated to create a sophisticated envelope. The wall section is strategically designed to optimize the overall energy conservation of the home while at the same time keeping the initial investment vs. lifetime fuel use in check. The home incorporates advanced building science to control moisture, air infiltration and thermal bridging.


Constant Fresh Air
The home incorporates both passive and mechanical ventilation. The main stairwell is open from the lowest level in the home to the highest point of the roof, optimizing passive air movement. Since warm air is lighter than cooler air, a chimney effect is created which naturally draws air from any open window up and out the elevated clerestory window.


During heating & cooling seasons an HRV (heat recovery ventilator) system constantly brings fresh air into the home and removes stale air, thus minimizing the need for mechanical heating or cooling.  For example, in winter cold air brought into the home is warmed by the interior air being cycled out of the home.  The result is a healthier interior environment with minimal energy consumption.


Durable Materials
The use of cement board, farmed mahogany and PVC contribute to the durability, longevity and ultimate performance of the envelope.


Solar Power
The roof orientation and pitch is optimized for solar exposure in this specific region. Both solar hot water & photovoltaic (electric) collectors are utilized.  Special consideration is given to keeping solar collectors concealed while still achieving energy production levels necessary to receive renewable energy credits.


Precise Mechanical Systems
The heating, air-conditioning and ducting systems are engineered to optimize performance. Oversized systems can perform as poorly as undersized systems. Therefore, matching the reduced loads, necessitated by the energy efficient envelope, is critical to the ultimate performance of the home.


Energy Efficient Products
Appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures are selected based on their low energy and water usage.


Deconstruction vs Demolition
Removal of the previous home on the lot proved to be the best option towards achieving our energy goals, as well as minimizing project costs. However, instead of demolishing the house, we opted to deconstruct the structure bit by bit. The harvested materials were separated, bundled and donated to a reseller. Therefore, the materials are not added to the ever expanding volume of landfill, but will be reused on another site. The tax benefit of the donated materials more than offset the additional cost to deconstruct; in fact, it actually netted a cost benefit.  Salvaged Items included: lumber, major metals, mechanical equipment, appliances, flooring, trim, sheet goods, windows, doors, kitchen cabinetry, plumbing and electrical fixtures, interior furnishings, insulation, monolithic stone and more….