On December 8, 2010, The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Connecticut Light and Power (now Eversource), and The United Illuminating Company announced the winners of the first annual Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC). Through this Challenge, these innovative homes demonstrated that building high-efficiency homes that consume almost no energy is achievable today!
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The concept of this design was established early on by the home owners, Mary Keithan, and her husband George Keithan. The energy and consulting engineer Consulting Engineering Services, Inc (CES), and Whitney Huber, AIA, teamed up to build this winning home built in Killingworth Connecticut which achieved the highest level of energy efficiency and secured the grand prize of $15,000. This home received the lowest Home Energy Rating System (HERS) by implementing measures like geothermal heating and cooling, unique passive and active solar system, and an extremely energy efficient building envelope.
The Schaller Eco-Home designed by Jeremy and Karann Schaller secured the second place prize of $10,000 with their custom home built in New Hartford Connecticut. The Schaller’s achieved their goal in building a home that uses less energy and greener materials, allowing them to live in a more sustainable manner. The shell of the home was constructed using an efficient system of structural insulated panels. This measure as well as many others resulted in significant waste reduction (only one dumpster being used during the entire construction period) and cost efficiency of $125 per square foot for the home.
Chris Trolle with BPC Green Builders represents this cutting edge home built in New Canaan Connecticut which earned the third place prize of $5,000. Some of the innovative building features included a super insulated envelope, triple glazed windows, and a solar thermal system that enabled the residents to get through last winter without a utility bill.