The First Optimum Performance Home™

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					  DESIGN                                                                                                                                                                                   DESIGN
       optimum performance home                                                                                                                                                   optimum performance home

                                                                                                                               between the home’s components and the envelope
                                                                                                                               they create. Also paramount is good stewardship––
                                                                                                                               proper regard and respect for the rights of neigh-
                                                                                                                               boring homeowners, resource efficiency, and the
                                                                                                                               surrounding natural setting. The goal is to optimize
                                                                                                                               occupant health, comfort, and safety; maximize
                                                                                                                               energy efficiency and structural durability; and mini-
                                                                                                                               mize environmental impact. In addition, the aim is
                                                                                                                               toward providing a nurturing home environment to
                                                                                                                               support independent living and sustainable

  The First Optimum
                                                                                                                                   Part I of this case study series appeared in Issue
                                                                                                                               1, January/February 2006. The introductory article
                                                                                                                               extended to 16 pages and covered extensively the

  Performance Home                                                     ™                                                       project scope. Part II appeared in the March/April
                                                                                                                               issue and focused on site planning and prepara-
                                                                                                                               tion. Part III expanded on the approach to Low-

  site planning                                                                                                                Impact Development (LID) for the site. Part IV
                                                                                                                               appeared in Issue 4, July/August, and presented

  part V                                                                                                                       the Revised and Second Revised Final plan submit-
                                                                                                                               tal to be reviewed by the Design Committee of The
                                                                                                                               Sea Ranch Association. Part of the revisions includ-
                                                                                                                               ed further refinement to the site plan and drainage
                                                                                                                               design, which was hopefully the final condition to
  Gary Reber                                                                                                                   be met before the project would be permitted to be
                                                                                                                               submitted to the Sonoma County Building
                                                                                                                               Department for final structural and code approval,
                                                          Introduction                                                         necessary to obtain a building permit.
                                                                                                                                   A letter, dated July 12, 2006, was received from
                                                              This is the fifth article in the series documenting the design   The Sea Ranch Association Department of Design,
                                                          and construction of the first Optimum Performance Home™.             Compliance & Environmental Management (DCEM)
                                                          The project has been selected by the U.S. Green Building             stating that the Revised and Second Revised Final
                                                          Council (USGBC) for inclusion in the national Leadership In                                                                                The Sea Ranch, Sonoma County, California
synopsis                                                  Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) for Homes pilot pro-

✎ The architectural/structural and
  grading/drainage submittals have
                                                          gram, their new green build certification initiative.
                                                              The home will be built at The Sea Ranch, located in
   been granted final approval with                       Sonoma County, along the Northern California coastline of the                                                                          plan submittal for the proposed home, and the associated
   conditions that translate to                           Pacific Ocean.                                                       “The science of optimum                                           grading/drainage and landscape plans were reviewed by
   clarifications on certain building                         The showcase project is exemplary of the “Ultimate Home                                                                            the Design Committee at their May 5, May 19, and June 16,
   components and material finishes.                      Design™” concept, which integrates age-friendly universal            performance homes is about                                        2006 meetings. The good news is that the architectural/

✎ The necessary work to address the
                                                          design with the best sustainable building practices while
                                                          exerting minimal impact on the environment. Universal design
                                                                                                                               building structures that use                                      structural and grading/drainage submittals have been granted
                                                                                                                                                                                                 final approval with conditions that translate to clarifications on
  remaining architectural/structural and
   grading/drainage, and landscaping
                                                          is the inclusive, non-discriminatory design of products, build-      less energy, are quieter and                                      certain building components and material finishes. The letter
                                                          ings, environments, and urban infrastructure, as well as infor-                                                                        stated that, “These conditions can be removed by submitting
   concerns is nearly complete.
                                                          mation technologies that are accessible to and useable by            more comfortable, have fewer                                      revised drawings and details for review by Design Review

✎ The mechanical infrastructure for the
                                                          (almost) all. With respect to home design, the idea is to
                                                          design and build homes that have no physical barriers, thus
                                                                                                                               problems with material                                            staff.” When conditions are resolved, a letter indicating Final
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Approval for TSRA Construction Performance Permit will be
  Optimum Performance Home™ is
   rather complex as several leading-                     sustaining people of all ages and all capabilities in a function-    degradation, provide clean air                                    issued for presentation to Sonoma County to obtain a county
   edge technologies are employed to                      al, comfortable, and aesthetic lifestyle.                                                                                              building permit. The Design Team is completing, to the satis-
   create the most energy-efficient                            A building science systems approach to home building is         and water, and do less                                            faction of the Design Review staff, a Third Revised Final sub-
   design possible.                                       the cornerstone of the project with emphasis on the relationships
                                                                                                                               damage to the environment.”                                       mittal as this issue is being published.

  24                         Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                              Page 1/14   Page 2/14               • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                                 25
                                                   DESIGN                                                                                                                                DESIGN
                                          optimum performance home                                                                                                              optimum performance home

                                                                                    The disappointing news is that, “The     elevation drawing, Sheet L-3). Species indicated on
                                                                                 landscape plan is not approved at this      plan are of inappropriate scale.
                                                                                 time, due to a need for additional infor-      “10. Add erosion-control ground-cover plantings
                                                                                 mation. Specifically, the Design            on cut-slope areas.
                                                                                 Committee has the following landscap-          “11. Ensure that native plant species selected are
                                                                                 ing concerns, which must be                 suitable for damp/wet soil conditions.
                                                                                 addressed:                                     “12. Refer to plan mark-ups for possible additional
                                                                                    “1. There seems to be a lack of an       issues not specifically itemized within this letter.
                                                                                 overall concept or approach with how the       “A revised landscaping submittal will be required
                                                                                 landscape relates to the existing site      to address these issues. The Committee will allow the
                                                                                 vegetation and to the building mass.        landscaping issues to be resolved independent of
                                                                                 The Committee is relying on the land-       the building/grading issues in order to avoid further
                                                                                 scaping to successfully mitigate the        delay to the issuance of permits/commencement of
                                                                                 remaining issues with the overall size of   construction.”
                                                                                 the home. It is advised that you work          Much of the concerns stated are subject to inter-
                                                                                 with a landscape architect to develop a     pretation and have been fully addressed in the land-
                                                                                 theme where the existing tree canopies      scape plan submittal. If the Design Team could have
                                                                                 are the base of the design, and addi-       been at the Design Committee meetings to discuss
                                                                                 tional like-kind species, and those of      our proposals, we could have had a productive dia-
                                                                                 varying scales, are clustered together      logue in which we could have provided further clarifi-
                                                                                 to create more natural-appearing for-       cation of the plans submitted, provided reference
                                                                                 mations. As you are aware, it will          documentation on plant species and their scale, and
                                                                                 require careful planning and likely con-    explained our design approach, which fully sub-
                                                                                 tinual vegetation maintenance to retain     scribes to the approved Sea Ranch Association
                                                                                 solar access to rooftop PV panels.          Vegetation Management Plan, including adhering to
                                                                                    “2. The relative graphic scale of        selecting the allowable plant species designated
                                                                                 plants shown on the landscape plan          specifically in this plan in accordance with the site’s
                                                                                 are not accurate and, therefore, not
                                                                                 representative of the actual buffering
                                                                                 capabilities of the plant form.
                                                                                    “3. Plants should be pulled closer to
                                                                                 the edges of the perimeter building
                                                                                 walls to have a more effective relation-                                                                                                      Four perspective
                                                                                 ship in lowering the building mass.                                                                                                           views of the
                                                                                    “4. All new planting shall be                                                                                                              Optimum
                                                                                 installed with protective deer screens                                                                                                        Home at The Sea
                                                                                 and a drip irrigation system to promote                                                                                                       Ranch
                                                                                    “5. Overlap tree canopies around
                                                                                 driveway to better obstruct view up
                                                                                 driveway toward house from road.
                                                                                    “6. Specify all planting intentions at
                                                                                 planter beds as indicated on Sheet L-2.
                                                                                    “7. Distinguish existing vegetation to
     The elevations of the Optimum Performance Home at
     The Sea Ranch                                                               remain and any existing trees to be
                                                                                 removed from proposed plantings on
                                                                                 the Landscape Plan.
                                                                                    “8. All plans should have a north
                                                                                 arrow for orientation purposes.
                                                                                    “9. South facade needs tree plant-
                                                                                 ings for visual screening (as implied on

26                           Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                            Page 3/14   Page 4/14               • Issue 05 • September/October 2006               27
                                                                                  DESIGN                                                                                                                                                  DESIGN
                                                                         optimum performance home                                                                                                                                optimum performance home

                                                                                                                        actual date of Design Committee                             as part of the plan submittal to Sonoma    mechanical infrastructure could start         Mechanical Infrastructure
                                                                                                                        approval on June 16. In our Design                          County.                                    by mid-October 2006.
                                                                                                                        Team’s experience, there is so much                             Assuming that Sonoma County and           In this, Part V of the case study              As noted in the previous articles in
                                                                                                                        misunderstanding that comes from the                        The Sea Ranch Association’s DCEM           series, the focus will be on the              this series, the home design integrates
                                                                                                                        exclusion of the property owner and                         will not further delay the issuance of     mechanical infrastructure planned for         all of the concepts advocated in
                                                                                                                        design representatives. And as a                            permits, the commencement of con-          the Optimum Performance Home.                 Ultimate Home Design™. The goal is to
                                                                                                                        result, there is so much needless pain                      struction, site-grading, foundation, and                                                 demonstrate how today’s products and
                                                                                                                        and frustration, not to mention the
                                                                                                                        escalating professional design and
                                                                                                                        construction costs that are the result of
                                                                                                                        the dragged-out design review process.
A perspective of the southwest view created by architectural designer                                                      In any event, the Design Team is re-
Ed Rose.
                                                                                                                        addressing with more clarification the
                                                                                                                        concerns expressed and providing the
                                                                                                                        additional information requested.
environmental conditions. And the                                    occurred in the Design Committee                      The necessary work to address the
Design Committee would have had the                                  process with respect to this proposed              remaining architectural/structural, grad-
opportunity to educate us about their                                project. Fully, three years, nine months           ing/drainage, and landscaping con-
viewpoint and desires so that we could                               have passed since the first site review            cerns expressed in the July 12 letter is
more effectively interact with them.                                 and conceptual plan stage of the proj-             nearly complete. This work includes the
   There has been so much wasted                                     ect. While this “approval” letter is dated         structural and mechanical plans for the
time, effort, and money that has                                     July 12, a full four weeks preceded the            Optimum Performance Home, necessary

      “ My goal is to build a house that requires no heating system.”

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                                                                                                                   ing system. One that relies on passive solar heat
                                                                                                                   and the heat generated by the people living in the
                                                                                                                   home. I know this is realistic and achievable with
                                                                                                                   today’s technology. I’ve built my reputation on
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28                                                      Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                                                        Page 5/14   Page 6/14              • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                                29
                       DESIGN                                                                                                                                 DESIGN
              optimum performance home                                                                                                               optimum performance home

                                                         building methods can make life safer,       community and harvested
                                                         more comfortable, and more enjoyable.       on-site, elimination of water
                                                         The science of optimum performance          pollution and contamination
                                                         homes is about building structures that     from poorly-designed or fail-
                                                         use less energy, are quieter and more       ing septic systems, and gen-
                                                         comfortable, have fewer problems with       eral land use patterns that
                                                         material degradation, provide clean air     conserve and protect water
                                                         and water, and do less damage to the        resources within the overall
                                                         environment. As an integrated holistic      ecosystem at The Sea
                                                         design, the house will serve as a home      Ranch. The water-efficient
                                                         for many people and serve in many           site plan and drainage
                                                         phases in one’s life.                       design promotes “smart
                                                             The Optimum Performance Home’s          water use.”
                                                         site plan is designed to strongly sup-          The mechanical infra-
                                                         port the efficient use of the community’s   structure for the Optimum
                                                         water supplies, equitable allocation of     Performance Home employs
                                                         water resources provided by the             several leading-edge tech-
                                                                                                     nologies to create the most
                                                                                                     energy-efficient design pos-
                                                                                                     sible. The home is designed
                                                                                                     to cut its energy use with
                                                                                                     efficiency, and then meet the
                                                                                                     remaining needs with renew-
                                                                                                     able energy sources.
                                                                                                         This includes on-site
                                                                                                     energy generation in the
                                                                                                     form of a 4.4-kilowatt (kW)
                                                                                                     MyGen™ Meridian® photo-
                                                                                                     voltaic (PV) roof-integrated
                                                                                                     solar panel system by
                                                                                                     Kyocera Solar, Inc., operated
                                                                                                     and managed using a
                                                                                                     GridPoint™ Connect Series
                                                                                                     hub for the renewable sys-
                                                                                                     tem’s connection to the
                                                                                                     Pacific Gas & Electric
                                                                                                     (PG&E) utility grid and for
                                                                                                     online Internet energy man-
                                                                                                     agement. This installation will
                                                                                                     be capable of generating
                                                                                                     near-zero energy home
                                                                                                     (ZEH) cost operation, if not
                                                                                                     zero-energy home cost, for
                                                                                                     the electricity use in the        that at times the home will pull (and pay for)   designed to continue providing electricity
                                                                                                     home. The ZEH design is           power from the electric grid, and at other       even during blackouts.
                                                                                                     based on the Solar Buildings      times it will produce more energy than it will       Solar hot water preheating will be provided
                                                                                                     Program of the U.S.               need, with the excess being sold to the elec-    by TrendSetter® Industries, Inc. using two AP-
                                                                                                     Department of Energy.             tric company, resulting in an annual net-zero    30 Apricus® Solar Collectors. A ground-cou-
                                                                                                         Net metering allows the       energy cost. It is expected that the home will   pled heat pump will be system-integrated to
                                                                                                     electric meter to spin back-      generate more electricity than it uses. The      maintain the domestic hot water temperature
                                                                                                     ward and forward, meaning         GridPoint intelligent management system is       for the main house and laundry. A 200-gallon

30   Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                            Page 7/14    Page 8/14               • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                              31
                                                           DESIGN                                                                                                                               DESIGN
                                                  optimum performance home                                                                                                             optimum performance home

Kyocera Solar MyGen™ Meridian® Roof-Integrated Solar                          TS-200 TrendSetter Solar Thermal Storage Tank will      from below freezing up to 200-degrees Fahrenheit
Electric Generation System                                                                                                                                                                                        Takagi T-H1 ENERGY STAR®-Qualified
                                                                              supply preheated water. The weather resilient tank      makes it an ideal piping material for hot and cold
    • The high-efficiency d.Blue MyGen Meridian solar system                                                                                                                                                      Tankless Water Heater
                                                                              will be buried outdoors under the courtyard.            water plumbing systems, trouble-free firesprinkler
visually blends with the Optimum                                                                                                                                                                                      • The Takagi T-H1 provides a never-ending
                                                                              TrendSetter solar hot water systems are unique in       systems, and hydronic radiant floor heating systems.
Performance Home’s architecture and                                                                                                                                                                                supply of 120-degree Fahrenheit water in the most
                                                                              their scalability from 100 to 1,200 gallons of stor-         As part of the Uponor PEX plumbing system, an
black slate roofing, becoming an                                                                                                                                                                                   efficient way possible.
                                                                              age; they are up to ten times more efficient than       Aquacore® Whole Home Ultra Filtration System and
energy-producing enhancement.
Kyocera backs the easy-maintenance                                            other systems.                                          a Sylvan Source M-600 Ultra-Clean Water System
cassette system with a 25-year limited                                            A Takagi T-H1 ENERGY STAR®-qualified on-            will be integrated. The Aquacore ultrafiltration sys-
warranty on power output. The system                                          demand instantaneous tankless water heating sys-        tem produces an uninterrupted stream of bottled-
is Class A fire rated for all roof pitches.                                   tem will be used for the guest area above the           quality drinking water to every tap in the home.
                                                                              garage in Building 3 of the three-building com-         The unit processes water at the rate of 10 gallons                          WaterFurnace EW & E Series Heat Pumps
                                                                              pound with a Takagi T-K Jr. providing on-demand         per minute using a patented multi-bore hollow fiber                              • The Optimum Performance Home™ will use a
                                                                              hot water at the outdoor shower sourced from har-       membrane design with seven capillaries in every                              WaterFurnace EW Series heat pump to boost the
Gridpoint™ Connect Series                                                     vested and filtered rainwater.                          fiber. Thousands of membrane strands have bil-                               solar hot water temperature (as needed) for both
    • The GridPoint Connect Series is the first                                   Geothermal energy will be harnessed with a          lions of .02 micron pores that act as a strainer to                          the whole-home radiant floor heating and domestic
appliance to intelligently manage renewable                                   ground-coupled vertical closed-loop system              filter out particles, turbidity, and pathogens, includ-                      hot water heating systems. An E Series water-to-air
energy and provide instant backup power.                                      designed by Meline Engineering, which circulates        ing bacteria, viruses, and cysts, while allowing                             heat pump will be used to provide air conditioning
The unit seamlessly combines power                                            water from the earth to extended range water            water to flow through with virtually no pressure                             to the home theatre and projection room.
electronics, high-capacity battery storage,                                   source heat pumps manufactured by                       drop. The process does not add chemicals to the
and an Intel® Pentium®-based computer. The                                    WaterFurnace International, Inc. An EW Series           household water and improves the performance of
appliance actively communicates with
                                                                              water-to-water heat pump will be used for the           other water treatment equipment in the home.                                Sylvan Source Ultra Clean Water System
GridPoint’s network operations center to
                                                                              whole-home zoned radiant floor heating system.               A Sylvan Source M-600 will further purify the
ensure optimal performance. The result is                                                                                                                                                                             • Sylvan Source unique multi-stage technology
                                                                              An E Series water-to-air heat pump will provide air     ultrafiltered water produced by the Aquacore sys-                            features breakthrough four-stage water processing
reliable power in the event of an outage and
an intelligent and automatic way to monitor                                   conditioning to the dedicated home theatre and          tem and serve as the ultrapure water source for ice                          consisting of degassing, distillation, demisting,
solar electric use.                                                           projection room in Building 2. The WaterFurnace         makers, refrigerators, and kitchen faucets.                                  and condensing. The system requires no filters,
                                                                              system also will serve as a back-up domestic hot             The mechanical system design will include a                             cartridges, membranes, or chemicals and features
                                                                              water source.                                           whole-home Broan SmartSense Ventilation System                               a patent-pending self-cleaning process. The
                                                                                  The WaterFurnace closed-loop system circu-          equipped with ENERGY STAR-qualified Ultra Silent                             rugged, stainless-steel construction and
TrendSetter® Industries’ AP-30 Apricus® Evacuated Solar                                                                                                                                                            industry-standard plumbing connections assure
                                                                              lates water through a “loop” of small-diameter,         Series QTXE fans and spot-specific QTXE Ultra
Tube Collectors & Solar Thermal Storage Tank                                                                                                                                                                       long-term durability.
                                                                              underground pipes made of high-density polyeth-         Silent Sensing fans and fans/lights in the bath-
   • TrendSetter solar tube                                                   ylene. Closed-loop systems can be installed either      rooms, laundry room, and garages. The
systems reduce the water                                                      horizontally or vertically, or even in a pond. In the   SmartSense Ventilation System performs as an
heating portion of a utility bill
                                                                              case of the Optimum Performance Home, the sys-          energy recovery ventilation (ERV) system to pro-                       Aquacore® Whole-Home Hollow-Fiber Ultrafiltration
by as much as 90 percent.
                                                                              tem will be installed vertically under the guest        vide fresh air while exhausting stale air and filter-                  System
The composite aluminum
                                                                              parking area. The ground-loop portion of the            ing dust and indoor air pollutants. The Broan sys-
tank features a seamless                                                                                                                                                                                         • The Aquacore point-of-entry ultrafiltration system is
high-temperature EDPM lining, all-                                            geoexchange system uses the constant tempera-           tem operates automatically and employs patent-                          capable of producing a steady flow of microbiologically
copper/cupro-nickel fittings, rigid foam insulation, stainless-steel          ture of the earth as a heat source instead of natu-     pending sensing technology to regulate the vol-                         pure water throughout the home.
fasteners, and silver-brazed joints, and is warranted for 20 years            ral gas or propane for increasing the efficiency of     ume of fresh air ventilation and maintain a constant
with an indefinite life expectancy.                                           an electric ground-coupled heat pump. The               humidity level in the home.
                                                                              ground loop replaces the “outdoor unit” of a con-            A dedicated ENERGY STAR-qualified
                                                                              ventional air-to-air heat pump.                         Panasonic WhisperComfort™ ceiling-mounted spot
                                                                                  Spunstrand special underslab low-velocity insu-     ERV fan will be used in the home theatre to provide
                                                                              lated ducts for ultra air flow quietness will channel   fresh air while exhausting stale air.
                                                                                                                                                                                                             Wardflex® Flexible Fuel Gas Tubing
Spunstrand® Filament Wound Fiberglass Underslab Duct                          the air-conditioning to the dedicated home theatre           Title 24 documentation is being provided by Sol
                                                                              and projection room.                                    Data based in Santa Rosa, California. Their load                          • Wardflex® is the gas piping system for the
  • Spunstrand air-conditioning duct is                                                                                                                                                                      21st Century with the highest overall rated flow
designed for direct burial applications and                                       The AQUAPEX® PEX radiant floor heating,             calculations will be used to coordinate equipment
                                                                                                                                                                                                             capacity in the industry. Wardflex is recognized
manufactured using the filament wound                                         AQUAPEX PEX plumbing, and AQUAPEX PEX fire              selections for overall home compliance with the 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                                             as the “system of choice” by major gas utility
method to provide the greatest strength.                                      sprinkler system to be installed in the Optimum         California Building Energy Efficiency Standards.
                                                                              Performance Home are designed and manufac-                   Propane gas will be used as the source for two
                                                                              tured by Uponor. PEX is cross-linked polyethylene.      gas-operated cooking appliances: an ENERGY
                                                                              PEX flexibility and strength at temperatures ranging    STAR-qualified KitchenAid® Architect Series®

 32                                   Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                            Page 9/14   Page 10/14               • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                              33
                                                           DESIGN                                                                                                                               DESIGN
                                                  optimum performance home                                                                                                             optimum performance home

                                                                             KDRP767R dual-fuel 36-inch-wide range with
Uponor® Radiant Floors
    • Warm water circulates under the floors
                                                                             steam-assist will be the primary cooking appliance        The Mechanical Engineer’s Role
                                                                             and a professional AGM36 manually controlled 36-
throughout the Optimum Performance Home™
                                                                             wide griddle manufactured by Wolf Range
using Uponor’s durable, flexible, and resilient
                                                                             Company will serve as an exhibition Japanese
crosslinked polyethylene AQUAPEX tubing,
providing a comfortable, even heat without                                   Teppan-Yaki cooktop. These two appliances will be         Lisa Meline, PE
stirring up dust and pollutants.                                             supplied propane gas using Wardflex® flexible cor-
                                                                             rugated stainless-steel fuel gas tubing. A Broan®
                                                                             professional ISER222SS 51.5-inch wide stainless-          Energy Management                             which is to provide the necessary ven-        and gas (if applicable) requirements of
                                                                             steel island hood rated at 1000 CFM will provide                                                        tilation of fresh air. Good ventilation       the home and coordinates this with the
                                                                             exhaust for the AGM36, and a Broan professional               The mechanical engineering profes-        improves indoor air quality and can           civil engineer to ensure that the proper
        ®            ®
Uponor AQUAPEX Plumbing System                                               KER22242SS 42-inch wide stainless-steel wall              sional is an important player on the          mitigate issues with mold.                    size and capacity of the utilities are
                                                                             hood rated at 1000 CFM will provide exhaust for           custom home design team. Mechanical               Many of the high-end homes are            brought on site and the proper connec-
   • AQUAPEX tubing is clean, does not
                                                                             the KDRP767R. The controls for both hoods are             engineering is at the crossroads of all       moving toward total home control or           tions are provided for the home.
corrode, and is not affected by corrosive water
and soil. In addition to being a healthier way to                            operable via remote control to support the univer-        engineering disciplines, with formal          smart home controls, as is the case           Because of the open space of some
move water through the Optimum Performance                                   sal design requirements of the Optimum                    education in topics also covered by           with the first Optimum Performance            custom home designs and often the
Home™, it is also quiet, durable, virtually                                  Performance Home.                                         electrical, civil, and structural engineer-   Home™ at The Sea Ranch. This type of          home’s geographic location in antici-
maintenance free, and guaranteed for 25 years.                                   Lisa Meline of Meline Engineering, based in           ing programs. Many mechanical engi-           system can control anything from the          pated seismic activity zones, piping
                                                                             Sacramento, California, is the mechanical engineer on     neers also have had basic courses in          security system and lighting to the vol-      and plumbing within a custom home
                                                                             the Design Team. The plumbing contractor, experi-         controls, acoustics, and environmental        ume of built-in sound and video sys-          can often be a challenge to the integra-
                                                                             enced in radiant floor heating and PEX plumbing, is       topics.                                       tems, inside and out.                         tion of a duct distribution system.
                                                                             Rick O’Neil of Tom’s Plumbing in Gualala, California,         The core of the mechanical engi-              All of these design elements need to
Uponor® Fire Protection System                                               just north across the Gualala River from The Sea Ranch.   neer’s value on a custom home design          be coordinated with the mechanical            Geothermal Energy Use In The
    • Uponor’s reliable and trouble-free
                                                                             Mike Ericksen and Mark and Beth Morelli of Air            team is his or her role in managing           engineer. On the design team, the             Optimum Performance Home™
fire sprinkler system is designed for                                        Connection in Santa Rosa, California will provide the     energy: solar, electricity, petroleum-        mechanical engineer is usually respon-
fast response. The AQUAPEX plumbing                                          installation of the WaterFurnace geothermal system.       based products, and sometimes wind.           sible for the plumbing system design;             For this particular design of the
system provides water to the sprinkler                                           The article, which follows, is written by Lisa        The mechanical engineer must be               heating, ventilation, and air-condition-      Optimum Performance Home at The
fixtures, which activate independently                                       Meline with a focus on the mechanical engineer’s          familiar with the standard building           ing (HVAC) design, sequence of opera-         Sea Ranch, a geoexchange system
when temperatures reach 150-degrees                                          role on the Design Team. An article written by Norm       codes in the state in which he or she is      tion for the control system design; and,      manufactured by WaterFurnace
Fahrenheit. The system exceeds the National Fire Protection                  Ehrlich, Founder and Chief Technical Officer of           licensed. For example, I am licensed in       in most cases, the energy calculations,       International, Inc. was chosen as the
Association (NFPA) requirements.                                             TrendSetter Industries, Inc., appears elsewhere in        California and must be familiar with          which show compliance with the                means for heating and air conditioning.
                                                                             this issue and covers the selection and application       California’s Building Energy Efficiency       Building Energy Efficiency Standards          The system (also commonly referred to
                                                                             of solar water heating systems.                           Standards, which were recently updat-         (often called, in California, Title 24 doc-   as a ground-source heat pump system
                                                                                                                                       ed to be more restrictive, especially in      uments). The mechanical engineer cre-         or geothermal heat pump system) con-
Broan® Ultra Silent Sensing Fan                                              Next                                                      the residential arena. By code, the           ates his or her system design with            sists of three main components—the
                                                                                                                                       mechanical engineer is one of several         input from other specialty professionals      heat pump, which is the foundation of
    • The ENERGY STAR®-qualified Boran Ultra
Silent Series QTXE fans and fan/lights are the                                   As stated previously in past articles, the design     design professionals required to speci-       on the custom home design team,               the system (manufactured by
quietest fans in the industry and provide occupant-                          review process itself has no doubt weighed us             fy the energy efficiency of the home          such as the home theatre designer,            WaterFurnace International); a closed-
sensor technology to assure needed                                           down over this unexpectedly long period of time.          building materials, lighting, and             humidor and wine cellar consultants,          loop vertical “well” system, which is
ventilation.                                                                 But, now that the Design Committee has granted            mechanical systems. He or she must            kitchen designers, and pool and spa           drilled into the constant temperature
                                                                             essentially final approval, though with conditions        also maintain the aesthetics required of      builders. The mechanical engineer also        earth on site; and water, which is circu-
                                                                             that pose no insurmountable challenges, the proj-         the custom home designer and the              coordinates the mechanical equipment          lated between the ground loop and the
                                                                             ect should now move forward in a hastened man-            comfort desired by the owner.                 requirements with the electrical engi-        heat pump in high-density polyethylene
Panasonic WhisperComfort™ Ceiling-                                           ner, so that commencement of construction can                 The innovation and technology in          neer to make sure that the electric           pipe. The ground-loop portion of the
Mounted Spot ERV                                                             begin by mid-October. The next series of articles         the custom home industry has become           service to the home is of the proper          geoexchange system uses the con-
    • The ENERGY STAR®-qualified WhisperComfort                              will focus on each stage of construction and the          more complex. There are new building          size. The dividing line between the civil     stant temperature of the earth as a heat
fan provides whole-home fresh air ventilation                                design approach taken, and the technologies and           materials that must be modeled for            engineer and the mechanical engineer          source instead of natural gas or
with its energy recovery ventilation (ERV) core                              building systems and materials used to create the         their heat transfer characteristics.          relative to the plumbing design is usu-       propane for increasing the efficiency of
technology. The ERV unit delivers fresh air while                            first Optimum Performance Home. UHD                       Because homes are built “tighter” than        ally drawn at a five-foot perimeter           an electric ground-coupled heat pump.
exhausting stale air and filtering out dust and indoor                                                                                 in the past, this introduces a new chal-      around the house. The mechanical              A heat pump can provide both heating
air pollutants.                                                                                                                        lenge in mechanical system design,            engineer determines the sewer, water,         and cooling, and it operates on the

34                                   Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                             Page 11/14   Page12/14                 • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                                35
                                                                   DESIGN                                                                                                                                        DESIGN
                                                          optimum performance home                                                                                                                      optimum performance home

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Lisa Meline, P.E., is the principal engineer and    architectural rendering and CAD drafting using
                                                                                                                                                ensures that when additional energy is               owner of Meline Engineering. She has 17 years of        AutoCAD, Autodesk VIZ-Maxwell, and Photoshop.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mechanical engineering experience and over 22           He is a member of the American Society of
                                                                                                                                                required to heat the hot water it will               years of experience in the construction industry.       Architectural Illustrators. Samples of his work can
                                                                                                                                                operate at a COP of about 3 rather                   Ms. Meline has a strong background in project           be viewed at Ronald
                                                                                                                                                                                                     and construction management and design engi-            can be reached at 707 849 3500 or rldevesa@sbc
                                                                                                                                                than a COP of 1, which is the efficiency             neering. She has prepared HVAC and plumbing   
                                                                                                                                                                                                     designs for commercial, educational, industrial,             Scott Simpson is a pilot and aerial photogra-
                                                                                                                                                of an electric resistance hot water heater.          residential, and government buildings throughout        pher. His company is West Of One, based in
                                                                                                                                                    The challenges of integrating this               California, Nevada, and Colorado. Ms. Meline is a       Gualala, California. Scott resides at The Sea
                                                                                                                                                                                                     LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified            Ranch and provided the aerial photos depicted in
                                                                                                                                                system into the Optimum Performance                  Geoexchange Designer by the Association of              this article. Samples of his work can be viewed at
                                                                                                                                                Home will lay mainly in interfacing with             Energy Engineers. She is a voting member of    Scott can be reached at 707
                                                                                                                                                                                                     ASHRAE TC6.8, the Technical Committee on                785 9445 or
                                                                                                                                                other trades on the project. The instal-             Geothermal Energy Utilization and holds member-
                                                                                                                                                lation of the ground-loop system will                ships with ASME, ASHRAE, AEE, GHPC and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     IGSHPA. Ms. Meline is the Chair of the Industry         Product Information
                                                                                                                                                need to be coordinated with the site                 Advisory Council for California State University             • Aquacore by Aquest, Inc., 604 East North
                                                                                                                                                development work. A drilling permit is               Sacramento and is a recipient of ASME’s                 Street, Elburn, Illinois 60119, 630 365 2525,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Distinguished Service Award. More recently, Meline
                                                                                                                                                usually required in addition to a con-               Engineering was nominated and was a finalist for             • Broan-NuTone, 926 West State Street,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     the Sacramento Workplace Excellence Leadership
                                                                                                                                                struction permit for the ground loop                                                                         Hartford, Wisconsin 53027, 800 548 0790,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Award (SWEL) in the Small For-Profit category 
                                                                                                                                                portion of the geoexchange system.                   .Meline Engineering is located at 9216 Kiefer                • GridPoint, Inc., 2020 K Street NW, Suite 550,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Boulevard, Suite 6, Sacramento, CA 95826. Lisa can      Washington, DC 20006, 202 903 2100,
                                                                                                                                                The spoils resulting from the drilling               be reached at 916 366 3458 or
                                                                                                                                                process will need to be contained and,                                                                            • Kyocera Solar, Inc., 7812 East Acoma Drive,
                                                                                                                                                in some cases, hauled off the project site.          Acknowledgements                                        Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260, 480 948 8003,
         Shown is a typical water-to-water heat pump installation for a radiant floor system.                                                                                                             Ed Rose is a residential architectural designer.
                                                                                                                                                    Since the geoexchange system is                                                                               • Panasonic Home & Entertainment Company,
         The hot water heater to the left is used as a buffer tank for the radiant floor system.                                                                                                     His company is Rosebud Studios based in Monte
                                                                                                                                                essentially a “central plant” system,                                                                        One Panasonic Way, Secaucus, New Jersey
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Rio, California. Ed has been designing homes and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             07094, 866 292 7292,
                                                                                                                                                there will need to be integration with many          remodels on The Sea Ranch and surrounding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Spunstrand Incorporated, 620 North Post
                                                                                                                                                                                                     areas since the late 1980s. His skill in listening to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Street, Post Falls, Idaho 83854, 208 665 7444,
same type of refrigeration cycles as                   the heat pumps to operate in heating                                                     of the systems in the home. Careful                  and understanding his client’s architectural pro-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     gram and then translating that into a workable and
conventional HVAC equipment. The dif-                  and cooling modes simultaneously.                                                        coordination will be required between                pleasing design acceptable to the rigorous philos-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sylvan Source, 285 North Wolfe Road, Suite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             103, Sunnyvale, California 94085, 408 736 7186,
ference is that the ground-coupled                         The mechanical engineer will be                                                      the contractors providing the radiant                ophy of The Sea Ranch Design Committee is
                                                                                                                                                                                                     responsible for the final successful approval of the
heat pump can take 1 kilowatt (kW) of                  responsible for selecting the mechani-                                                   floor system, sheet metal and under-                 First Optimum Performance Home™ at The Sea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Takagi Tankless Water Heaters, 5 Whatney,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Irvine, California 92618, 888 882 5244,
electricity and turn it into 3 to 4 kW of              cal equipment, designing the radiant                                                     slab ductwork, plumbing, controls, and               Ranch. This included the fairly new design con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             949 770 7171,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     cepts of universal access and aging-in-place, use
heating energy for the home. This rat-                 floor and duct distribution systems, and                                                 solar system.                                                                                                     • TrendSetter Industries, 1385 8th Street,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     of “green” materials, and meeting the exacting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Arcata, California 95521, 800 492 9276,
ing is called the coefficient of perform-              providing basic control sequences for                                                        Because of the high level of coordi-             guidelines for a residential LEED® designation. It
                                                                                                                                                                                                     wasn’t until Ed joined our team that we began to
ance (COP), and for geoexchange sys-                   the builder. The mechanical engineer is                                                  nation and unfamiliarity of many trades                                                                           • Uponor North America, 5925 148th Street
                                                                                                                                                                                                     make progress with the Design Committee in this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             West, Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124, 2 997 5329,
tems, the performance is usually                       also responsible for sizing the ground      In addition to being energy efficient,       with the geoexchange system, a con-                  challenging process. Ed provided all of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     images of the site plan, floor plans, elevations, and
between 3 and 4 COP. On the Optimum                    loop. The ground-loop piping will be        the ground-loop portion of the geoex-        tractor certified by the International                                                                            • Wardflex® by Ward Manufacturing, Inc., P.O.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     isometric perspectives for the magazine. His
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Box 9, Blossburg, Pennsylvania 16912,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     extensive education and experience span numer-
Performance Home project, the water-                   buried between 3- and 4-feet below fin-     change system is all below ground and        Ground Source Heat Pump Association                                                                          800 248 1027. 570 638 2131,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     ous disciplines from architecture to industrial and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • WaterFurnance International, Inc., 9000
to-water ground-coupled heat pumps                     ished grade in the guest parking area.      out-of-sight. Essentially, the ground loop   (IGSHPA) will install the system at the              graphic design to technical illustration, photogra-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Conservation Way, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     phy, and painting. Ed can be reached at 707 865
will be making hot water to be distrib-                It will be a series of vertical 1-inch      replaces the “outdoor unit” of a con-        Optimum Performance Home site. The                   1146 or 707 785 9180 or
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             800 222 5667,
uted through the home in a radiant                     diameter high-density polyethylene tub-     ventional air-to-air heat pump. There is     entire system will be commissioned by                     Bill Wilson is an environmental consultant with
                                                                                                                                                                                                     over 35 years experience working internationally in
floor distribution system manufactured                 ing drilled down into the earth to 250-     no noisy equipment outside the home          the engineer of record. It is very impor-            the field of comprehensive sustainable develop-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Mechanical Equipment Installers
by Uponor. All of the rooms except the                 to 300-feet deep placed at roughly 10-      to detract from the beautiful Sea Ranch      tant that the system performance be                  ment, with emphasis in the areas of agriculture,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     building systems, energy, watershed planning,               • WaterFurnace Equipment––Air Connection,
home theatre and the projection room                   to 15-foot centers. Water will be circu-    setting of this Optimum Performance          verified to ensure its energy efficiency             wastewater treatment and reuse, aquaculture, and        395 Irwin Lane, Santa Rosa, California 95401,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     marine systems. He holds a degree in Environmental      707 571 8384,
will have radiant floor heating. The                   lated within this 1-inch diameter high-     Home.                                        in accordance with California Title 24                                                                           • Uponor Radiant Floors & AQUAPEX
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Studies, with concentrations in Aquatic Biology
home theatre and the projection room                   density polyethylene closed-loop pipe           The geoexchange system will also         documents. UHD                                       and Political Science, from the University of           Plumbing––Tom's Plumbing, Inc., P.O. Box 92,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     California, Santa Barbara, and is a graduate of the     Gualala, California 95445, 707 884 3818,
will be heated and cooled with a two-                  to transfer heat from the earth to the      be used as a backup-heating source                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Special Program in Landscape Architecture,
zone water-to-air ground-coupled heat                  heat pumps in the house. In cooling         for the domestic hot water system. The                                                            Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Bill
                                                                                                                                                The Authors                                          Wilson Environmental Planning, LLC is based in
pump. This type of system was select-                  mode, the water will be circulated          solar thermal system designed by                  Gary Reber is the President of Ultimate Home    Mill Valley, California. His firm planned the water
ed for the home theatre and projection                 between the heat pumps in the house         TrendSetter Industries, Inc. will be heat-   Design, Inc. and the founding Editor-In-Chief and    systems for the first two LEED platinum-rated
                                                                                                                                                Publisher of Ultimate Home Design magazine. His      buildings in California, and he is on the LEED
room because it is expected that more                  and the earth, to reject heat back into     ing water and storing it in a large tank     diverse background in several fields includes an     Technical Advisory Committee for the U.S. Green
continuous cooling will be required to                 the earth. If both units are operating      buried outside the home beneath the          undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate uni-       Building Council. He is the Editorial Director of the
                                                                                                                                                versity education in architecture, community plan-   Environmental Design Department of Ultimate
offset the heat created by the home                    simultaneously, the heat rejected from      courtyard. On days where the energy          ning, and economic development planning. For         Home Design. Bill can be reached at 415 383
theatre projection and audio equip-                    the water-to-air heat pump in the home      from the sun cannot be used, the             years he was a consultant on community and eco-      2919 or on his mobile phone at 805 689 7639 or
                                                                                                                                                nomic development planning. For the past 15 years    by e-mail at
ment. Both of these heat pumps will be                 theatre (cooling) will be transferred       geoexchange system will be engaged           he has been an editor and publisher of magazines
                                                                                                                                                in the consumer electronics field. Gary can be
connected to a single ground-loop sys-                 directly to the water-to-air heat pump,     to maintain the hot water temperature                                                             Architectural Illustration & Photo Credits
                                                                                                                                                reached at 951 676 4914 or gary@ultimatehome
tem. The ground-loop system will allow                 making hot water for the radiant floor.     in the solar hot water storage tank. This                                                            Ronald Devesa is an architectural illustrator,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     based in Santa Rosa, California. He specializes in

36                                           Ultimate Home Design • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                              Page 13/14   Page 14/14                     • Issue 05 • September/October 2006                                                       37