PASSIVE HOUSE NET ZERO LPC . Taft School Faculty Housing

The Taft house—one of our most ambitious energy-efficient homes to date—received the following awards and certifications:

And it received:

The project is also:


The Taft School, a boarding school, in Watertown, CT, wanted to build a state-of-the-art green home to support the school’s commitment to faculty housing and environmental stewardship. This is a single family two-story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with detached two-car garage, located in the Historic District. The home is oriented to optimize the use of passive and active solar energy. The energy usage will be monitored by the residents at an integrated iPad screen and by the Environmental Science students in the classroom.


Foundation: 8" solid concrete foundation
wall; 3" closed-cell on interior (R-19); 2x4
stud wall filled with blown cellulose (R-13);
rigid foam at slab perimeter (R-20); rigid
foam under slab (R-38)

Walls: Double walls consisting of two 2x4 walls
set; 3.5" apart; 2" closed-cell spray foam (R-16); 
8.5" dense-pack cellulose (R-32); insulated, coated, 
taped sheathing (R-6); R-55 total assembly

Attic: 24" blown cellulose on attic floor
over 9.5" engineered joists (R-100)

Windows: UPVC and aluminum-clad
wood framing; argon-filled; triple-glazing;
low-e; U=0.09 for north facing windows;
U=0.11 for all other windows; SHGC=0.61
on south, east, and west facing windows
for beneficial heat gain

Air Sealing: 0.6 ACH 50

Ventilation: HRV; MERV 8 filters

HVAC: Air-source heat pump

Hot Water: Heat pump hot water heater

Lighting: 100% LED interior and exterior

Appliances: ENERGY STAR-rated
refrigerator, clothes washer, dishwasher,
and ceiling fans, condensing dryer.

Water Conservation: All EPA WaterSense rated fixtures (except kitchen faucet);
motion-sensing recirculating pump

Solar: 13.1-kW PV

Other: Energy management system;
detached garage; low-VOC

Size of project: 3,891 sq. ft.

Builder: BPC Green Builders

Read the case studies below to learn more about what makes the Taft house a comfortable, sustainable, high-performance home