1920s bungalow gets deep green retrofit for sustainability studies

At the grand opening of the ReNEWW House at Purdue University, it was clear a deep-green remodeling project could maintain the historic integrity of its neighborhood.

On Sept. 12, 2014, Mayor John Dennis remarked on the way the 1928 Craftsman-style bungalow remained a fine example of the homes in the New Chauncey Neighborhood, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

"The home respects the neighborhood, it respects our history and it respects the architecture," Dennis said. "It fits right in."

The ReNEWW House -- for Retrofitted Net-Zero Energy, Water and Waste – is a multi-year research project in which Whirlpool Corporation is working with Purdue University and other industry partners to retrofit a 1920s vintage home into a net-zero energy, water and zero-waste-to-landfill structure

From the front of the home, it only looks like it underwent an exterior makeover, with new siding, trim and a metal roof. The original brickwork on the porch remains untouched, one of ways the home retains its historic dignity. Only from the back of the home is there a clue of what's inside.

In order for the ReNEWW House to generate its own power, a solar solution has been brought into play. SolarZentrum North America contributed the certified Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Solar PV-Therm modules.

The CHP solar module will simultaneously provide up to 900 watts of combined electrical and thermal energy. It’s also capable of producing up to 30 percent more electricity, and up to four times more total combined energy output, than a conventional solar panel

General contractor Grant Geise of Green Goose Homes said the home had a HERS score of 177 when it was tested. The final score of the home hasn't been determined because of the cutting edge solar power and water heating system, among other things. But Geise estimates it to be around 10 to 12. Air changes in the home went from 13 per hour to 2 air changes per hour, Geise said.

Whirlpool Corporation will have several engineers living in the house over the course of the three-year project who will be working alongside Purdue University researchers to develop the next generation of ultra-efficient appliances. Whirlpool Corporation engineers who participate in the Whirlpool Engineering Rotational Leadership Development (WERLD) Program and are enrolled in the engineering graduate program at Purdue University will have the option to live and work in the house.

This year, Whirlpool Corporation focused on deep energy retrofit work, which was completed over the summer, to bring this home to net-zero energy status.

Net-zero energy means that over the course of a year this home will convert enough renewable energy onsite to offset its needs – typically through a surplus of solar energy in the summer and a deficit in the winter.

In the coming years, Whirlpool Corporation will focus on net-zero water and zero- waste-to-landfill solutions for the home.

The research will enable the company to accelerate the advanced development of next-generation ultra-efficient appliances.

The home was built in 1928 and has about 3,000 sq. ft. of conditioned space, three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. It is two stories tall and has a full basement - which has been converted into a living laboratory.

The structure was rated at 177 — or 77 percent less efficient than a typical new house, according to the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, a standard energy efficiency rating that’s the equivalent of miles-per-gallon for residential buildings.

Lapolla Industries developed the spray foam system that was used to insulate this home. Its FOAM-LOK spray foam product was applied in the wall stud cavities on the main floor, in the basement and in the attic.

Included in the spray foam is Honeywell’s new Solstice® Liquid Blowing Agent (LBA), an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) and non-ozone- depleting foam blowing agent. It replaces previous generations of blowing agent technology that have been used in spray foam insulation and other applications.

Enertech Global provided a GeoComfortCompass Series geothermal system for the ReNEWW House project.

Geothermal systems take advantage of a fairly constant underground temperature between 45° and 70° F. A water solution flows through pipes buried in the ground and absorbs heat from the earth in the winter, which is transferred to the geothermal system inside the house.

Once there, the heat is boosted and applied to the air that is circulated throughout the home, providing warmth when needed. In the summer, the process is reversed. For every one unit of energy that is put in, the geothermal system collects three free units from the earth. Simply put, you get four units for the cost of one.

Whirlpool Corporation installed a high-efficiency Whirlpool Duet laundry pair that contributes to the goal of net-zero energy. Home appliances make up approximately 17 percent of a home’s average energy use, making appliance efficiency a crucial factor in reducing a home’s overall energy consumption.

Whirlpool Corporation recently introduced the Whirlpool Duet HybridCareTM clothes dryer with Hybrid Heat Pump technology. It is designed to regenerate energy during the drying cycle while reducing overall energy consumption, while providing dryer speed and performance flexibility. Compared with typical dryers that use large amounts of energy by venting hot, moist air, the HybridCareTM dryer is a ventless heat pump dryer that uses a refrigeration system to dry and recycle the same air.

Designed to replace incandescent and compact fluorescent (CFL) alternatives, Whirlpool LED lighting uses 80 to 90 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent light bulbs. The UL-approved residential LED lighting products showcased in the ReNEWW House are designed and sold by ETi Solid State Lighting, Inc., a subsidiary of Elec-Tech International Co.

With a minimum rated life of 22.8 years, Whirlpool LED light bulbs provide soft white light up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs.

The Whirlpool LED line also includes LED-integrated light fixtures that will last 20 to 50 years. These recessed light kit fixtures, composed of an LED light bulb, module and integrated trim that fit into existing cans, provide a fast and near-permanent alternative to frequent bulb replacement.

Ply Gem, a manufacturer of exterior building products, supplied the siding, windows, trim and exterior doors for the ReNEWW House. The Ply Gem products incorporated into the ReNEWW House reinvigorate the design and efficiency of this Craftsman-style home with updated colors and textures, windows, doors, siding and accessories that stay true to the structure’s architectural character.

The windows feature triple-paned, krypton-filled lites with frames and sashes welded together into single, weather-tight units made from recycled materials.

The home’s custom-built fiberglass doors feature sustainable composite frames and low-maintenance materials that won’t dent, warp, rot or crack.

The siding incorporates a polystyrene foam insulation backing that wraps the home’s exterior envelope with a continuous blanket of insulation up to 1.25 inches thick, helping to minimize air leakage. The siding is also manufactured with 50 percent recycled materials.

Ply Gem Cellular PVC Trim, a low-maintenance alternative to traditional wood trim and designed to work well with nearly any siding type, is utilized throughout.

Read more about the RENEWW House.

Read more about green home remodeling.

 


Topics: Appliances, Connected Homes / Smart Homes, Energy Audits, Exteriors, Foundations, Geothermal Heating & Cooling, Home Design & Plans, Insulation, Kitchen, Lighting, Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Refrigerators, Remodeling, Solar Power, Sustainability Trends & Statistics

Companies: Honeywell International Inc., Whirlpool Corporation, Enertech Global, LLC, GeoComfort Geothermal Systems


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