Classic Design, Implemented with New Materials

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  • Author: Gary Breed
My wife and I recently moved into a new, ener-gy-efficient home. Visually, we designed it to be quite traditional, with no obvious experi-mental or avante garde features. Structurally, we built it with attention to current technology, including a few construction practices that have been around for many years, but are only now starting to become common. The foundation and main floor walls use insulated concrete form (ICF) construction, all windows and doors have low-E glass and minimal air leakage, and special attention was given to insulation. The non-ICF exterior walls and attic are insulated with a combination of sprayed-on foam to prevent air infiltration and eco-nomical dense-packed cellulose to achieve a high R-value. Even the base-ment floor is insulated with an inch of high density foam board under the concrete. Along with the use of high efficiency heating and cooling equip-ment, these features earned us Energy Star certification, significantly exceeding most of that program’s energy efficiency criteria.