Launch Slideshow

Name: Bryant Residence, Saxapahaw, N.C.Size: 2,498 square feetConstruction cost: $158 per square footCompleted: June 2009Certifications: LEED-Gold, NGBS-Gold, Energy Star, Builders Challenge, Green Home Builders of the Triangle-GoldHERS rating: 48Designer/Builder: Chandler Design-Build, Mebane, N.C.Energy Consultant: Southern Energy Management

Risks & Rewards

Risks & Rewards

  • Name: Bryant Residence, Saxapahaw, N.C.Size: 2,498 square feetConstruction cost: $158 per square footCompleted: June 2009Certifications: LEED-Gold, NGBS-Gold, Energy Star, Builders Challenge, Green Home Builders of the Triangle-GoldHERS rating: 48Designer/Builder: Chandler Design-Build, Mebane, N.C.Energy Consultant: Southern Energy Management

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    Name: Bryant Residence, Saxapahaw, N.C.Size: 2,498 square feetConstruction cost: $158 per square footCompleted: June 2009Certifications: LEED-Gold, NGBS-Gold, Energy Star, Builders Challenge, Green Home Builders of the Triangle-GoldHERS rating: 48Designer/Builder: Chandler Design-Build, Mebane, N.C.Energy Consultant: Southern Energy Management

    600

    John Ripley

    EXTERIOR
    Chandler’s crew wrapped the walls with Tyvek Wrinkle Wrap and then taped the window flanges and electrical penetrations and lapped and taped the step flashings. They covered the Tyvek with two layers of 15-pound asphalt felt and then stapled lightweight fiberglass SpiderLath every 6 inches each way down the wall. They then applied a two-coat ¾-inch-thick layer of type-S stucco and sealed it with an elastomeric paint. The slab on-grade foundation is wrapped with 9-inch PolySteel ICFs with two layers of 1-inch XPS foam underneath. Tyvek: 800.448.9835. http://www2.dupont.com. Circle 348. SpiderLath: 870.725.3902. www.spiderlath.com. Circle 349. Polysteel: 800.293.3210. www.polysteel.com

  • KITCHENNorcraft formaldehyde-free cabinets, a 1.8-gpm Kohler Simplice faucet, Energy Star-rated appliances, and Cambria quartz countertops grace the open, airy kitchen. Norcraft: 866.802.7892. www.norcraftcabinetry.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Cambria: 866.226.2742. www.cambriausa.com.WINDOWSThe home is sited to maximize views of the countryside and adjacent airpark while controlling sunlight. Peachtree 700 Series double-pane, low-E windows (0.30 SHGC and 0.30 U-value), 37-inch roof overhangs, and exterior shade structures on the south and west side help control summer heat gain. 800.732.2499. www.peachtreedoor.com.INTERIORSProducts chosen for their contribution to healthy indoor air include tile flooring and Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint. A Morso 6148 wood stove provides extra warmth on cold days. Upstairs, floors are made of wide-plank local oak. Sherwin-Williams: 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com. Morso: 615.323.0561. www.morsona.com

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    KITCHENNorcraft formaldehyde-free cabinets, a 1.8-gpm Kohler Simplice faucet, Energy Star-rated appliances, and Cambria quartz countertops grace the open, airy kitchen. Norcraft: 866.802.7892. www.norcraftcabinetry.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Cambria: 866.226.2742. www.cambriausa.com.WINDOWSThe home is sited to maximize views of the countryside and adjacent airpark while controlling sunlight. Peachtree 700 Series double-pane, low-E windows (0.30 SHGC and 0.30 U-value), 37-inch roof overhangs, and exterior shade structures on the south and west side help control summer heat gain. 800.732.2499. www.peachtreedoor.com.INTERIORSProducts chosen for their contribution to healthy indoor air include tile flooring and Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint. A Morso 6148 wood stove provides extra warmth on cold days. Upstairs, floors are made of wide-plank local oak. Sherwin-Williams: 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com. Morso: 615.323.0561. www.morsona.com

    600

    John Ripley

    KITCHEN
    Norcraft formaldehyde-free cabinets, a 1.8-gpm Kohler Simplice faucet, Energy Star-rated appliances, and Cambria quartz countertops grace the open, airy kitchen. Norcraft: 866.802.7892. www.norcraftcabinetry.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537. www.kohler.com. Cambria: 866.226.2742. www.cambriausa.com

    WINDOWS
    The home is sited to maximize views of the countryside and adjacent airpark while controlling sunlight. Peachtree 700 Series double-pane, low-E windows (0.30 SHGC and 0.30 U-value), 37-inch roof overhangs, and exterior shade structures on the south and west side help control summer heat gain. 800.732.2499. www.peachtreedoor.com

    INTERIORS
    Products chosen for their contribution to healthy indoor air include tile flooring and Sherwin-Williams low-VOC paint. A Morso 6148 wood stove provides extra warmth on cold days. Upstairs, floors are made of wide-plank local oak. Sherwin-Williams: 800.474.3794. www.sherwin-williams.com. Morso: 615.323.0561. www.morsona.com

  • ROOFTOP PATIOThe brick tile floor of the roof floats on two layers of HardieBacker boards laid on -inch Ameridrain plastic drainage mats above the rubber roof. To keep the roof from getting wet, the floor is flashed into the wall with galvanized steel flashing. For maximum enjoyment of the spacethe owners favorite hangoutChandler included a water spigot and a gas outlet for the barbecue grill. James Hardie: 888.542.7343. www.jameshardie.com. Ameridrain: 800.242.9425. www.americanwick.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp11B1%2Etmp_tcm131-893204.jpg

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    ROOFTOP PATIOThe brick tile floor of the roof floats on two layers of HardieBacker boards laid on -inch Ameridrain plastic drainage mats above the rubber roof. To keep the roof from getting wet, the floor is flashed into the wall with galvanized steel flashing. For maximum enjoyment of the spacethe owners favorite hangoutChandler included a water spigot and a gas outlet for the barbecue grill. James Hardie: 888.542.7343. www.jameshardie.com. Ameridrain: 800.242.9425. www.americanwick.com.

    600

    John Ripley

    ROOFTOP PATIO
    The brick tile floor of the roof floats on two layers of HardieBacker boards laid on ½-inch Ameridrain plastic drainage mats above the rubber roof. To keep the roof from getting wet, the floor is flashed into the wall with galvanized steel flashing. For maximum enjoyment of the space—the owners’ favorite hangout—Chandler included a water spigot and a gas outlet for the barbecue grill. James Hardie: 888.542.7343. www.jameshardie.com. Ameridrain: 800.242.9425. www.americanwick.com

  • RAINGARDENA 20-foot trench on the far side of the driveway and an 80-foot trench on the north side under a concrete retaining wall collect rainwater and feed it to plants via passive capillary action. Materials to make the rainwater system cost about $156 per 20-foot section, Chandler says.

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    RAINGARDENA 20-foot trench on the far side of the driveway and an 80-foot trench on the north side under a concrete retaining wall collect rainwater and feed it to plants via passive capillary action. Materials to make the rainwater system cost about $156 per 20-foot section, Chandler says.

    600

    John Ripley

    RAINGARDEN
    A 20-foot trench on the far side of the driveway and an 80-foot trench on the north side under a concrete retaining wall collect rainwater and feed it to plants via passive capillary action. Materials to make the rainwater system cost about $156 per 20-foot section, Chandler says.

  • EXTERIORChandlers crew wrapped the walls with Tyvek Wrinkle Wrap and then taped the window flanges and electrical penetrations and lapped and taped the step flashings. They covered the Tyvek with two layers of 15-pound asphalt felt and then stapled lightweight fiberglass SpiderLath every 6 inches each way down the wall. They then applied a two-coat -inch-thick layer of type-S stucco and sealed it with an elastomeric paint. The slab on-grade foundation is wrapped with 9-inch PolySteel ICFs with two layers of 1-inch XPS foam underneath. Tyvek: 800.448.9835. http://www2.dupont.com. SpiderLath: 870.725.3902. www.spiderlath.com. Polysteel: 800.293.3210. www.polysteel.com.SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEMThree rooftop panels in the SolarHot drain-back system heat water, which is stored in the 160-gallon storage tank and used for heating the floors and for hot water. The panels have an SRCC rating of 86. A Quietside ODW-120 gas on-demand water heater with 15-gallon tempering tank provides backup hot water but is rarely used, Chandler says. SolarHot: 919.439.2387. www.solarhotusa.com. Quietside: 888.699.6067. www.quietside.com.AIR CONDITIONERThe 15-SEER Heil zoned bypass heat pump air conditioner was selected for its ability to optimize dehumidification, Chandler says. When one zone turns off, a bypass damper allows a small amount of the air that would have gone to that zone to mix with the return air from both zones, which pre-cools it and helps reduce static pressure on the blower and maintain air velocity over the coil, resulting in more complete moisture removal from the air. www.heil-hvac.com.

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    EXTERIORChandlers crew wrapped the walls with Tyvek Wrinkle Wrap and then taped the window flanges and electrical penetrations and lapped and taped the step flashings. They covered the Tyvek with two layers of 15-pound asphalt felt and then stapled lightweight fiberglass SpiderLath every 6 inches each way down the wall. They then applied a two-coat -inch-thick layer of type-S stucco and sealed it with an elastomeric paint. The slab on-grade foundation is wrapped with 9-inch PolySteel ICFs with two layers of 1-inch XPS foam underneath. Tyvek: 800.448.9835. http://www2.dupont.com. SpiderLath: 870.725.3902. www.spiderlath.com. Polysteel: 800.293.3210. www.polysteel.com.SOLAR THERMAL SYSTEMThree rooftop panels in the SolarHot drain-back system heat water, which is stored in the 160-gallon storage tank and used for heating the floors and for hot water. The panels have an SRCC rating of 86. A Quietside ODW-120 gas on-demand water heater with 15-gallon tempering tank provides backup hot water but is rarely used, Chandler says. SolarHot: 919.439.2387. www.solarhotusa.com. Quietside: 888.699.6067. www.quietside.com.AIR CONDITIONERThe 15-SEER Heil zoned bypass heat pump air conditioner was selected for its ability to optimize dehumidification, Chandler says. When one zone turns off, a bypass damper allows a small amount of the air that would have gone to that zone to mix with the return air from both zones, which pre-cools it and helps reduce static pressure on the blower and maintain air velocity over the coil, resulting in more complete moisture removal from the air. www.heil-hvac.com.

    600

    John Ripley

    SOLAR THERMAL system
    Three rooftop panels in the SolarHot drain-back system heat water, which is stored in the 160-gallon storage tank and used for heating the floors and for hot water. The panels have an SRCC rating of 86. A Quietside ODW-120 gas on-demand water heater with 15-gallon tempering tank provides backup hot water but is rarely used, Chandler says. SolarHot: 919.439.2387. www.solarhotusa.com. Circle 351. Quietside: 888.699.6067. www.quietside.com

    AIR CONDITIONER
    The 15-SEER Heil zoned bypass heat pump air conditioner was selected for its ability to optimize dehumidification, Chandler says. When one zone turns off, a bypass damper allows a small amount of the air that would have gone to that zone to mix with the return air from both zones, which pre-cools it and helps reduce static pressure on the blower and maintain air velocity over the coil, resulting in more complete moisture removal from the air. www.heil-hvac.com

  • MASTER BATH A Panasonic WhisperGreen fan in each bathroom provides distributed ventilation with optional time-delay operation. To help minimize water usage, the owners selected low-flow faucets and Kohlers WaterSense-certified 1.28-gpf Cimarron toilets with Class Five flushing technology. Panasonic: 800.211.7262. www.panasonic.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537 www.kohler.com.

    http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/Images/tmp11B4%2Etmp_tcm131-893214.jpg

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    MASTER BATH A Panasonic WhisperGreen fan in each bathroom provides distributed ventilation with optional time-delay operation. To help minimize water usage, the owners selected low-flow faucets and Kohlers WaterSense-certified 1.28-gpf Cimarron toilets with Class Five flushing technology. Panasonic: 800.211.7262. www.panasonic.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537 www.kohler.com.

    600

    John Ripley

    MASTER BATH
    A Panasonic WhisperGreen fan in each bathroom provides distributed ventilation with optional time-delay operation. To help minimize water usage, the owners selected low-flow faucets and Kohler’s WaterSense-certified 1.28-gpf Cimarron toilets with Class Five flushing technology. Panasonic: 800.211.7262. www.panasonic.com. Kohler: 800.456.4537 www.kohler.com

Custom builder Michael Chandler, well-known in North Carolina and beyond for his high-performance homes and highly personalized customer service, loves to challenge himself in the field with new products and technologies. As a veteran green builder and building science enthusiast dedicated to staying on top of cutting-edge techniques, he looks forward to learning something new on every job, and owning his business gives him the leeway to try new approaches.

“You can do things that are really kind of adventurous, and your only risk is that you might have to go back and fix it if it doesn’t work out,” he says. “You get to take a lot of chances.”

For this home about 12 miles west of Chapel Hill, N.C., he had the luxury of clients who are as adventurous and open-minded as he is. Although they originally asked Chandler for autoclaved aerated concrete walls that would recreate the thick, stone exteriors of the their childhood homes in England, Chandler quickly talked the husband and wife into something more affordable, more insulating, and more appropriate for North Carolina’s hot and humid weather. He saved $60,000 by suggesting a technique he had never tried before: double-stud wall construction, which cost only $4,200 more than the company’s standard 2x6 walls. That approach allowed room for nearly 12 inches of R-46 Johns Manville Spider spray fiberglass insulation between the walls and R-30 Icynene open-cell spray foam at the roofline. “We got a really good R-value at a really good cost with the double wall construction,” Chandler says.

Framing was completed in less than two weeks because the walls, floor, and roof were manufactured off site at local panelization plant Builders First Source. At the factory, the exterior was sheathed with OSB and then moved to the site, where crews wrapped it with Tyvek Wrinkle Wrap, two layers of asphalt felt, and SpiderLath and then finished with fire-resistant stucco, which provided the Old World look the owners were after at a fraction of the cost.

The 13-inch-thick walls created the same effect on the interior, with deep window jambs and sills usually found in thick masonry construction. “It’s really striking, especially where we have triple windows,” Chandler says.

Three rooftop solar thermal collectors provide domestic hot water and first-floor in-floor heating. The system includes an outdoor reset mixing valve that adjusts the temperature of the water in the floors in response to the outdoor air temperature. For backup, Chandler speced a 94% efficient Quietside 120-ODW natural gas condensing on-demand water heater; a Morso wood stove also helps keep the chill away in winter.

Chandler and his energy consultant chose a cooling system that would work with the tight envelope to keep utility bills ultra-low, even during the area’s sweltering summers. With the help of energy modeling software, they speced a zoned bypass system with a single air handler and optimized dehumidification function. “When you get to a house that’s this energy efficient you can’t just go by the old rules of thumb to design air conditioning,” he says. He keeps a close eye on the home’s gas and electric bills, which have averaged about $58 a month.

Beth Williams, Chandler’s wife and business partner, designed the two-bedroom home with a downstairs office that doubles as a walker-accessible guest suite for visits from the owners’ parents, with private access to the hallway powder room. For year-round outdoor living, she added a second-story roof deck and garden that’s out of reach of the local deer population and where the owners, aviation buffs, can relax and enjoy the action at the neighboring airpark.

The yard features native plants and grasses instead of water-guzzling turf. Two rainwater catchment systems send stormwater to the yard’s planting beds and vegetable garden, where a simple but ingenious process based on septic systems and designed by Chandler takes over. A series of 18-inch-tall, 5-foot-long arches called infiltrator chambers are set in trenches under a layer of gravel in the dense clay soil. Rainwater rises from these storage chambers into the retaining wall planter and ornamental garden by capillary action without any pumps.

“The arches have slits that allow the water to passively escape into the soil and water the plants that way,” Chandler explains. “It’s a nice, natural way to water the plants.”