Hampton Bays, NY is home of one of the most recently certified green homes on Long Island. Certified at the Silver level of USGBC's LEED for Homes rating system the nearly 7000 square foot, 6 bedroom home achieved a lot for a home of its size. In addition to achieving LEED for Homes certification the home is one of very few here on Long Island to successfully achieve both Energy Star Version 3 certification and Energy Star with Indoor Air Package.
Driven by a client who is sensitive to indoor air pollution one of the driving factors during the design and construction was to provide and maintain superior indoor air quality. This was achieved using high efficiency, right sized, equipment within the tight building envelope. One of the first steps to increasing the indoor air quality was to minimize the amount of toxins within the home. This is accomplished with the exclusive use of zero and low VOC paints and adhesives throughout the house. Additionally, a mud room adjacent to the attached garage, with a shoe changing and storage area help to minimize the amount of pollutants brought into the house while advanced air filtration, as a part of the homes ventilation system, help to remove contaminants that do make it inside.
Not only does the high efficiency HVAC help to achieve high indoor environmental quality by keeping impurities to a minimum but it also helps to maximize comfort along with energy efficiency. A wood framed building envelope with flash and batt insulation, a method that includes a shallow layer of spray foam insulation that provides a complete air barrier along with typical batt insulation, provides a tight envelope that minimizes air infiltration and eliminates drafts. This tight envelope allows the HVAC to efficiently provide conditioned air to heat or cool the space as needed. The project received a Home Energy Efficiency Score (HERS) of 96 helping it achieve a total of 32 of a possible 38 points in the Energy and Atmosphere credit category.
In addition to great energy efficiency and indoor air quality the project gained LEED for Homes points with a largely native landscape plan that requires less maintenance than typical Long Island yards, a high efficiency irrigation system and low flow plumbing fixtures, and a variety of environmentally preferable products including bamboo floors and FSC certified cabinets.
While there was a steep learning curve for much of the project team, this being an introduction to LEED for Homes for many of them the project succeeded with continued perseverance and determination. In hindsight I would recommend including the Integrated Project Team approach, especially where those new to LEED are on the project team, in order to open and maintain communication throughout design and construction.