Measuring Things - Energy and Water
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Kevin has had his 15 minutes of fame come and go due to his appearance on the local radio program "Everything Green" on AM 950. Follow this link for the podcast if you care to hear the melodious musings of Kevin talking about our house.
This time off from attending to our blog doesn't mean that we haven't been doing things. Far from it oh unforgiving masses, far from it. We've been growing quite some grass, getting our home energy rating tests completed, and tracking energy use and water use in the house.
Our house has scored very well on the Energy Star Rating System after a series of blower door and air leakage tests we put it through to verify that the house was working as designed. The house scored well - receiving a 5 + star energy rating (the highest you can get) with a HERS Index Rating of 53 (on a scale of 0 to 500, with lower scores being better). This is great news - especially for a remodeled structure of which we were unable to change a few fundamental things. If we were to do a completely new house - I'd expect a HERS score of 30 or lower.
- A vegetated green roof system on 55% of our rooftop area: (To be installed in early October, we expect this to absorb 45% of the total rainwater on the rooftop)
- Harvesting of rainwater in rainbarrels: So far we've collected and diverted 7,300 gallons of rainwater, or 16% of the total rainwater hitting our rooftops for July, August and September. We expect this number to increase significantly after we install the green roof.
- Use of raingardens to handle remaining rooftop drainage, sump pump drainage and over surface drainage: Excess rainwater run off from the roof that is not collected by the green roof and rainbarrels as well as the water from our sump pump (below grade water at foundation wall) will find its way to the big raingarden - keeping those native plants happy.
- Minimize impermeable surfaces on site: Excluding the footprint of our house, we have nearly 85% of our site in vegetated or permeable surfaces. - This makes for better infiltration into the groundwater and subsurface aquifers. More than 50% of our lawn is planted with a low mow native plant species grass mix that requires less water and little to no mowing! Except of course that Roxanne enjoys mowing the lawn and is itching to do it.