Saturday, September 12, 2009

LEED for Homes Platinum

Walked by 2 Grant Street the other day. This is Harvard's first LEED for Homes Platinum building. It was a full-gut renovation of a 1,000 square foot house originally built in 1867. The project used a Mitsubishi Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to ventilate the house in an energy efficient manner (pictured). This is a preferred method of ventilation compared to ventilating by leaving the building envelope really leaky (the more common method) and is especially effective in a hot-roof application where insulation is applied directly to the underside of the roof (as was done in 2 Grant). The project uses a high efficiency condensing furnace (95.5% efficient) for heat and air conditioner (13 SEER) for cooling and Icynene spray insulation to improve the envelope performance. Domestic hot water is provided by an instantaneous water heater as needed by the occupants (no storage tank) and all appliances were selected to be Energy Star rated. The team selected all low-emitting materials and otherwise environmentally friendly materials, water efficient fixtures (saving 40%), and carefully designed the project to be durable and avoid mold or moisture damage. This is only the second LEED for Homes Platinum at any university and the fist renovation.

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