A link to the Chesterfield Observer article on this home
Richmond Times-Dispatch article by Holly Prestidge
Written by the Home Owners
Awarded Most Energy Efficient Home of the Year!
Although Bain-Waring had been building some of the most efficient houses in Virgina prior to the Stone Harbor project, this was to be their first attempt at Net-Zero. It was recognized by EarthCraft, and verified by an impartial third party, as the most efficient house built in 2011!
There are many contributing factors to a home's performance, especially as you reach the upper echelons of efficiency. To achieve maximum performance with minimum energy use, Thomas, Dianne and the Bain-Waring team opted for a mix of passive and active design features.
Randy Thomas and Diane Lewis along with Mark Waring, vice president of Richmond-based Bain-Waring Builders, built a home in Chesterfield County that's so energy-efficient it's among the first to be certified as such in Virginia. Thomas and Lewis came to Bain-Waring to build a zero-energy home, one that produces as much energy as it uses, therefore canceling out monthly heating and cooling bills. Through the use of solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and a tightly sealed shell, Bain-Waring constructed an aesthetically pleasing, EarthCraft Gold certified new home in the Stone Harbor subdivision of Chesterfield county. Bain-Waring has demonstrated an aptitude toward forward thinking construction practices for 25 years and was the first EarthCraft certified builder in Virginia.
One of the largest problems encountered during this job was finding a lot which allowed the 20 photovoltaic panels to face the Southerly direction required while keeping them hidden from street view. Also, the Stone Harbor HMA specified that new homes have at minimum one and a half floors. Along with the home-owners, the Bain-Waring Team was able to come up with a design which incorporated a detatched two car garage and a covered breezeway. The garage doors face North and thus the solar panels were able to be attached to the rear roof and are not visible from the street while still facing the South. The geothermal heating system presented problems due to the close proximity of a tree preservation area and a particularly shallow lot. Time spent planning the layout of the geothermal loops allowed for accurate placement and optimum performance of the system while saving cost, versus a drilled well installation. As the homeowners come to the end of their first year, they estimate that their savings, along with renewable energy credit sales will give them a 3600 square foot home that will cost $800 in total utility bills, (including water) for the year.