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Sixth Annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge Announces Four Winners

On April 13, 2016, Eversource and the United Illuminating Company annouced the selection of four winners for the sixth annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC), a statewide design/build competition for single and multi-family homes. This year’s competition featured nine homes from across the state built between June 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015.

Overall Winner (tied):
Project: Paul and Julia Torcellini Residence, Eastford, Conn.
Designer: Paul and Julia Torcellini
Builder: Davis Contracting, Oxford, Mass.

“Energy efficiency and clean energy is a huge part of who I am. When I built my new home in Connecticut, it was important to me and my family to have a house that not only contained energy efficient technologies, but was designed to be sustainable and make saving energy easy. It is an honor to be recognized as one of the overall winners in this year’s CT Zero Energy Challenge.” – Paul Torcellini, homeowner/builder, principal engineer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and associate professor for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University.  

Overall Winner (tied)
Project: James and Phoebe Katzin Residence, Litchfield, Conn.
Builder: Revival Homes LLC, New Hartford, Conn.

“Building high performance, energy efficient homes is one of our specialties. The CT Zero Energy Challenge gave us an opportunity to quantify our results and be recognized for our efforts. We were lucky to find a client interested in pushing the boundaries of high performance while minimizing the total cost of owning and operating a home.” – David Jones of Revival Homes, LLC.

Lowest HERS Index Without Renewables
Winner Project: Lowell and Patricia Kallen Residence, Woodstock, Conn.
Builder: Lehto Design/Build, Killingly, Conn.

Project Highlights

  • Focus on the thermal envelope and continuous air barrier
  • Insulation is four times better than a standard home
  • Self-adhering house wrap (new technology)
  • Passive solar heat gain
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Final HERS index of 33 without renewables and two with solar


Lowest Overall HERS Index
Winner Project: Ken Stanwicks and Donna Martin Residence, East Haddam, Conn.
Builder: Skip Kamis, Inc., Glastonbury, Conn.

Project Highlights

  • Focus on air quality
  • Final HERS Index of -15, including solar
  • Heat pump water heater
  • Energy-efficient building envelope
  • Ductless heat pump
  • Passive solar design