Unique Architectural Solutions...
Photo: Brian Vanden Brink
49 Mechanic St. • Camden, Maine • www.johnmorrisarchitects.com • 207-236-8321
Specializing in the design of finely detailed
cottages and homes for the Maine Coast
GUNITE POOLS • SPAS • PATIOS • RENOVATIONS • DESIGN/BUILD
add a splash of color
to your backyard.
Free consultation • 800.272.7946 • www.poolsbyandrews.com
New England’s trusted name in custom pools since1958
To overhaul the boxy 1850s “wreck of a
house,” as he calls it, Boehm gutted what was
a three-unit building and reconfigured it into
a duplex with one three-bedroom condo with
1,800 square feet and a second two-bedroom
unit with 1,400 square feet.
Termites thwarted Boehm’s plan to reuse
the structure’s existing frame, but he managed
to salvage some of it, and then began focusing
on creating a tight envelope. First, insulation
was added between studs — where heat loss
commonly occurs — using a dense, nontoxic
steel-slag fiber. Next, he wrapped the entire
building with rigid styrofoam insulation and
clad the exterior with wide, flat sheets of eco-friendly fiber-cement and cedar-plank siding.
A white rubber-membrane roof was also added
to reflect summer heat, minimizing cooling
needs during warmer months.
Heating and cooling account for half of
the typical home’s energy use. To reduce those
loads, Boehm installed a forced-water heating
system that achieves 94 percent efficiency,
then supplemented it with energy-saving fireplaces. Boehm also installed undersize ductless air-conditioning units, and created smart
open-plan interiors that encourage proper
airflow. Ideally, however, the air-conditioning switches will rarely be flicked on; instead,
powerful whole-house fans will suck warm air
into the attic and push it outside, while high-efficiency casement windows can be tilted to
maximize prevailing winds. “I’m proud of the
cooling system,” says Boehm. “I really wanted
to avoid the need for using AC.”
To win an official Energy Star rating, a
house must be inspected during construction
and is subjected to a strict “blower-door” test.
Using an enormous fan, an inspector pressurizes the building, then uses digital equipment
to measure its ability to keep air in and out.
Both condos scored about 60 points on a scale
of zero to 100 (with zero signifying total efficiency), meaning the building is
for more nearly 40 percent more efficient
details, see than a typical home. Boehm
resources figures that will translate into a
few thousand dollars worth of
rebates and incentives available through the
utility company and various local agencies
As an added bonus, going green may
yield a marketplace advantage, too: After less
than two months on the market, the units sold
for $500,000 and $690,000. ❧