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Five Winners Selected for the Seventh Annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge

On April 25, 2017, Energize Connecticut, in partnership with Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, announced the selection of five winners for the seventh annual Energize Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge (ZEC). This year's statewide design and build competition for single and multi-family homes, featured 17 homes from across the state built between June 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017.

Overall Winner:
Project: Deb and Russell Heinrich Residence, Guilford, Conn.
Builder: Bill Freeman and Alicia Dolce – Celebration Green Design & Build, Madison, Conn..

“After spending time at an environmentally conscious community in Costa Rica, we decided to create a self-sustaining lifestyle for ourselves. Because of this interest, we attended an open house for a completed Zero Energy Passive Home built by Celebration Green Design & Build to learn how the principles of a passive home would enable us to achieve our dream,” said Russell Heinrich, homeowner. “Once we had conceptual plans, we began transforming our design for a high performance home into the reality of a zero energy home that would leave as small a carbon footprint as possible.”  

Best Overall Envelope (tied)
Project: Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, Conn.
Builder: Greg Ariflian – Silver Lake Conference Center, Sharon, Conn.

The Silver Lake Conference Center features efficient Passive House design yet maintains the feel of a lodge with features such as a gorgeous soapstone wood stove.

Best Overall Envelope (tied) 
Project: Deb and Russell Heinrich Residence, Guilford, Conn..
Builder:Bill Freeman and Alicia Dolce – Celebration Green Design & Build, Madison, Conn.

The Heinrichs, this year's Zero Energy Challenge Overall Winner, also tied in best overall envelope category with R-values ranging from 44 to 51, Klearwall R-7.14 triple glazed windows and a final blower door test result of 0.4 ACH@50 pascals

See the Overall Winner above for more about the Heinrich Residence in Guilford .


Lowest HERS Index Without Renewables
Winner Project: Sandy and Jeff Alexander Residence, Stonington, Conn.
Builder: Nick Lehto – Lehto Design/Build, Killingly, Conn.

This category is perhaps the most telling when it comes to quality construction practices, as it ensures that the home is well insulated, air tight, and extremely efficient, prior to the incorporation of renewable energy technologies. The Alexanders' main goal when building was to create a resilient, efficient home that is respectful and complimentary to the home’s surroundings while keeping a close eye on the budget.

Lowest Overall HERS Index
Winner Project: Janis and Steve Moser Residence, Ellington, Conn..
Builder: Steve Moser, Ellington, Conn.

Having a sustainable home with minimal long term costs was the main objective for the Mosers, and after five years of research and planning, their home is now a reality.

Lowest Cost/Square Foot
Winner Project: Derby Residence, Derby, Conn
Builder: Mark Nuzzolo and D.J. Collins – Brookside Development, Woodbridge, Conn.

One of five zero energy ready homes in Singer Estates, the builder designed this home for the competitive Connecticut Real Estate Market with the intent of bringing zero energy home building to the masses.