Project Goals: In keeping with our charter, this project will meet the highest standards of environmental stewardship and will promote environmental education and research. Our intent is for the Barn House to provide a “live demonstration” of the best environmental design and construction technologies available today and that are appropriate to our region in northern New England. The Barn House will be a fully functional three bedroom three bath residence and barn with all modern conveniences yet be maintained as primitive appearing with siding of natural wood to blend in with the forested environment. The structure will be reasonable in size and not to exceed a 28’x 62’ foundational footprint. It is also our goal to use as much natural product as possible from the property such as wood, rock, gravel and top soil.
The project has been accepted in the LEED (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) for Homes Demonstration Pilot, developed by the US Green Building Council. The goal is to achieve LEED Certification at the Platinum level. Working as a team, Green Woodlands Management, the Architect, Construction Manager, Environmental Consultant and the Design Professionals will acquire a thorough understanding of the requirements of the LEED for Homes Pilot Rating System. The Construction Manager will instruct his personnel and sub-contractors in the environmental goals and requirements of the project. Success will depend on the cooperation and creativity of all parties.
Design Summary: There is no electrical grid at Green Woodlands. Therefore, power for the Barn/House will come from renewable resources which will include the restoration and upgrade of a historic, abandoned hydroelectric operation at the dam site of Cummins Pond as well as a rooftop photovoltaic (solar power) array. Every effort will be made to limit the house’s electrical load through Energy Star appliances, lighting fixtures and day lighting.
House heating, in addition to passive solar, will include a wood-burning boiler. When needed, electrical input may be obtained from hydroelectric and/or solar photovoltaic and back-up propane if necessary, all contributing to a thermal storage tank in the basement and distributed through an under floor radiant system. A masonry mass heater fueled by wood from the property will also be used to supply heat to the principal living spaces. A well insulated and sealed building envelope will be a major factor in achieving low energy design goals and will provide effective moisture management within the exterior walls and roof. Fresh air during the heating season will be furnished by an energy recovery ventilator.
The entire wood structure and finishes of the Barn/House will be harvested from our sustainably managed forest. The timber frame will be cut on site at a portable saw mill, as will studs, joists, rafters, sheathing, flooring, structural decking, siding, interior paneling and cabinetry. It is our intent to demonstrate the viability and variety of regional species as a preferable alternative to forest products imported from outside the Northeastern U.S. The timber frame joinery will be cut by hand using “old-time” timber frame craftsmanship techniques and tools.
Water conservation will be demonstrated with the use of composting toilets and recycled grey water. The durability goal of the Barn/House is in excess of 200 years with easily replaceable components for those systems whose production life cycle runs shorter than this goal (electrical, etc.) Up-front building, systems design and product selection will be made with a goal to minimize ongoing maintenance.
Barn House Sustainable Features
Architectural Design -Building designed to last 200 years -Timber frame structure hand built the “old fashioned way” without power tools -“Sugar House” form promotes stack effect natural ventilation in summer -High Efficiency, super insulated building envelope -Low maintenance design throughout building -Day lighting and strategies that utilize natural light -Open barn-concept design for flexibility
Building Material -95% of wood used is grown, harvested and milled from the property -Highly sustainable forestry practices utilizing salvaged and ?beaver? cut timber -Over 16 varieties of wood used to demonstrate their individual natural beauty - Use of bent wood to demonstrate structural and artistic use of low grade timber -Reused stone, sand and top soil from property -Foundation of a recycled wood and cement product -Triple pane windows with wood casings from an FSC certified forest -All natural, nontoxic wood sealants and stains - Every single building product reviewed and approved by our environmental team
Electrical Systems -Completely “off the grid” and sustainable -Solar Panels integrated into standing seam roof to make them invisible -All electrical in conduit to control EMF and assist in future wiring -Recycled, antique light fixtures retrofitted to use only compact florescent lights -No phantom load electrical design throughout - Complete redundancy in solar system inverters and controls with battery bank housing a week of electrical storage - Backup propane generator as last resort will charge depleted battery bank in about four hours - Satelite internet will allow for remote monitoring of all systems
Heating Systems -Passive solar design -Masonry wood heater for whole house radiant heat -Tarm wood boiler for radiant floor heat and hot water -Viessmann propane boiler and on demand hot water heater -Heat recovery ventilator for winter months - Barn shutter doors over windows and glass doors allow building to be sealed to retain heat
Plumbing -Composting flush toilets -Grey water system with a cultivated milkweed plot to reuse water -No PVC pipe used in plumbing -Extreme water efficiency through piping design & low flow fixtures - Total building plumbing can be easily drained - Hot water heat recovery system on drains - No solder fittings on piping - All piping for heating or hot water is insulated