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| ||Gov Patrick and Dave Miller |
E2 New England Director David Miller and his wife Karen have proven that it’s possible to build a fully sustainable and comfortable net-zero energy house in a neighborhood close to Boston. This is the first single-family residence within walking distance of Boston's ‘T’ that was designed to be net-zero energy and LEED Platinum. On May 9, 2012, the Millers opened their “home of the future” for a tour by E2 members and friends.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Massachusetts Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard Sullivan, State Representatives Ruth Balser and Kay Kahn, State Senator Marc Pacheco and Newton Mayor Setti Warren were among the many interested guests at the popular event.
Dave Miller, managing director of Clean Energy Venture Group, explained that he and Karen built this home in Newton, Massachusetts in a way which reflects their profound concern about climate change and “a moral obligation to leave the planet as we found it”. At the same time, they wanted a comfortable, less expensive home, with no compromises in quality. He noted that he’s not a building professional, just a “very interested consumer”. Among its many features, the house has one foot thick walls with minimal infiltration, a state of the art energy recovery ventilation system, southern orientation to maximize the high efficiency solar roof panels, triple-glazed, low energy windows with automatic shade controls, energy efficient lighting and ample day lighting, floors made of recycled materials and cabinets made of sustainably harvested wood.
David noted that for 4 days during the last week, the house produced more energy than it used. In this new house, the family of four uses only 15% of energy that they used in their prior home, built to 2005 building code. Reflecting on his recent design and building experiences, David encouraged several policy changes including HERS (Home Energy Rating) transparency for home buyers, improved building codes and expedited permitting and inspection for energy efficient construction. Dave’s slides are viewable here
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| ||The Millers' NetZero home |
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, commenting that he was a frustrated architect, commended the house as an example of the results of Massachusetts’ suite of energy and environmental laws, including the Green Communities Act, which has made the Commonwealth number one in energy efficiency in the US and delivered green jobs and business development to the state. Referring to threats to the Green Communities Act, he promised that it “isn’t going anywhere as long as I have anything to say about it.” However he also said that he is open to continuous improvement to the legislation and continuation of Massachusetts’ “fundamental commitment to growing the green economy” noting, “the more we lead and show our commitment the more others will follow”. There were several articles about the event, including this one
in the Boston Herald.
E2 would like to thank David and Karen Miller for the opportunity to view their sustainable, comfortable home.
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