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General Specs and Team
Location: 37 Parkside Ave, Southampton, NY
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 6
Living Space: 4980sq/ft

Cost (USD/sq. ft.): N/A
Completed: March 2010 (Estimated)

Lead Architect: Ric Stott
Asst. Architect: Craig Lee
Builder/contractor: Telemark Inc.
Energy consultant: Robert Delfino

Foundation: Concrete with Slag Mix
Floors: Oak and Bamboo Hardwood
Walls: 2x6 24 O.C. with Open Cell Insulation and 5/8 Sheetrock
Windows: Green Mountain Window with U values between .26-.29
Roof: 2x12 Rafters 24 O.C. with Closed Cell foam insulation and 5/8 Sheetrock

Heating/cooling: 2 Stage Variable Speed Florida Heat Pump Geothermal System
Water heating: Sunmaxx Solar Thermal System

In the heart of the Hamptons, a group of building professionals are creating a net zero energy, carbon neutral, Leed Platinum home.

Though the Hamptons are probably best known as the summer playground for the rich and famous, a home devastated by a tragic fire is being transformed into what will be a sustainable home that will set a building standard for others to follow.

The Hamptons Green Alliance (HGA) a not for profit organization focusing on public education via the web, has targeted transforming this home using the best that building science has to offer with the goal of creating a structure combining  visually attractiveness with sustainability.  The result, The HGA House, promises to set standards through its use of sustainable technology and materials that others will follow in the future.  Integrating the numerous new technologies being used in the house is a complex task.   The project team comprised of architects, owner, and various contractors uses a process found in AIA’s  (American institute of Architects) new contract form Integrated Project Delivery to accomplish the task. 

The house captures the feel of a Canadian Lodge but has been designed and is being built to be energy efficient, sustainably engineered, to provide a health living environment.

There are many systems, subsystems, and major attributes that are required to attain the goals of the HGA House. 

  1. The home must start with a super insulated building envelope. The HGA House uses  open cell foam for all outside walls and closed cell foam for the roof of the house.  The benefit of foam insulation is that when applied properly, all air flows (drafts) are eliminated. Foam insulation must fill all openings such that the home is air tight. The benefit with open cell is its ability to let moisture pass through, thus not trapping moisture in the home. This in combination with whole house ventilation   ensures one does not create an air tight mold factory. Closed cell foam provides significantly higher R-values and is also a component that ads a structural component (strength) to the home.

    All exterior doors and windows are Energy Star rated with u-values of under 30. Normally the windows and doors in a home are the location where most heat loss or gain occurs. By ensuring that all components of the building envelop  are Energy Star rated,  we are minimizing heat loss in the winter and solar gain in the summer.

  2. Geo thermal heating and cooling - The HGA House’s heating and cooling system is powered by a geothermal system. This technology uses the difference in the year round temperature of the ground water on Long Island (55 degrees) and the outside temperature.   The system uses this difference to either heat or cool the house depending on the season of the year.

  3. Evacuated Tube Solar Thermal Hot water. - The domestic hot water supply is being created using the power of the sun.  The solar thermal hot water production system is so efficient that our Integrated Project Delivery Team was able to engineer a method of productively using the excess hot water produced by the system.  The team was able to  divert excess  hot water to pre-warm the ground water used to heat the home during the winter , increasing  the output of the geothermal heating system.  During the summer the excess water will be diverted to the pool heater.

  4. Thin film photovoltaic solar power and conventional solar power panels - The HGA  house  has a substantial roof which allowed the architect to use thin film photovoltaic technology applied to a metal roof to produce approximately 6  kilowatts of power. To take full take advantage of the current subsidies offered by LIPA , we were able to use an adjacent  roof surface to produce an additional 4 kilowatts of power. This increased power production to the 10 kilowatts allowable to maximize the subsidies offered by LIPA. 

  5. Rainwater Harvesting - to take advantage of natural rainwater, a harvesting system has been engineered and installed such that water is captured from the roof of the home and stored in the ground to be used   at a later time to water the grounds.

  6. LED Lighting - Often sustainable energy production is gets all the visibility when it comes to creating or saving energy in a home. Yet energy saved is as valuable as energy created.  We are at the beginning of a new paradigm in home lighting. The HGA House’s lighting is supplied exclusively by LED (Light emitting diode) based lighting. LEDs reduce electric consumption 85% compared to incandescent lighting and are made to last upwards of 20 years.  LEDs are a healthy alternative to florescent lighting which contains small amounts of mercury, a powerful toxin easily released when a bulb is broken.

    The importance of the above should not be underestimated. Lighting accounts for 20%-25% of a home’s total electric usage.  By simply changing light bulbs to LED based lighting, total electric consumption of a home can be reduced by as much as 21.5%.

  7. Smart home technology - Reduction of energy consumption can also be achieved when technology controls the comfort and energy usage of a home.  Rather than heating the home to an unnecessary level when no one is in the home or using electric to light an empty room, smart home technology can reduce electric consumption while also ensuring the homeowner’s comfort.  The HGA House is equipped with the most advanced smart home technology available.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) - The planning and design phase of the HGA House project was quite extensive and included many more stakeholders than is typical in a traditional building project. Traditionally the owner, architect, and contractor are included on the building team.  In this case, no fewer than six additional trades were also included in the project team. Including the trades as active participants early in the planning and design phase of the project has allowed the project to run smoothly, stay on budget, and ahead of schedule.

As the HGA House used multiple subsystems that required integration, the planning function was of critical importance.  Following the concepts contained within AIA‘s new IPD contract form, helped eliminate costly change orders and focused all stakeholders on achieving a common goal.

Carbon Neutrality One of the goals of the project is carbon neutrality. While many projects proclaim carbon neutrality by being energy free or independent of purchasing energy produced from fossil fuels, the HGA House will also account for the embedded carbon footprint of the components of the home, the carbon footprint of those that built the home, as well as the carbon usage of the home over the life of the home. It is the intent of the Hamptons Green Alliance to deliver to the owner a true carbon neutral home through the purchasing of carbon offsets from the Chicago Climate Exchange.

LEED Certification Another goal of the HGA house is to be LEED Platinum.   When completed, the HGA House is scheduled to achieve either the highest or one of the highest levels of LEED points ever achieved in its class in the United States.
The integrated goal of zero energy, carbon neutral, and Leed Platinum is bold and dovetails into our widespread  plans for education and the furtherance of the green building industry.

Looking Forward At the completion of the project, we will be analyzing and comparing the performance of the house before the renovation to the how it performs after the sustainable investments. We are also tracking the incremental cost to build sustainably versus using traditional materials and systems.

It is our intent to then publish this information on our web site so that homeowners, architects, and builders can make a more informed decision on future building projects.

We also plan on speaking out on the benefits of using some of the concepts contained in the new AIA Integrated Project Delivery contract form.  It is our belief that had we not insisted that all members of the Hamptons Green Alliance be stakeholders in this project early on, this project would be running months late and risk being over budget. 
We have learned that there are substantial benefits to owners, architects, general contractors, and subcontractors, in working together during the design phase of a project.  The IPD concept holds the promise of creating a new paradigm in the way more complex custom projects are built. 

The Hamptons Green Alliance’s initial goal in agreeing to take on such an ambitious project on a not for profit basis was largely educational.  As the project team came together , it became  clear the owner, architects, and HGA members jointly aspired to raise  their  level of expectation for each of the major objectives of the project.  To build sustainably and to use as little energy as possible would change to net zero energy.  Reducing the carbon footprint   for the new structure would evolve to the home being carbon neutral.  Following LEED guidelines and being certified turned into becoming LEED Platinum and attempting to achieve the highest LEED point total for residential construction in the country.

It is the writers opinion that the silver lining or in this case the “Green” lining that  will ultimately overcome  what began as a personal  tragedy,  has been  the teamwork  and dynamics  created by  the Integrated  Project Delivery  method of design, planning, and building . Most certainly it encouraged all stakeholders to attain the highest level of performance possible.

By aspiring to excel as a group we have not  only provide our client and partner a very special and  wonderful home,  but we will have all extended our knowledge, made a contribution to our industry, and helped to educate the public about the promise  of sustainable building.

HGA House