2017 NHSaves Drive to Net Zero Home Competition Participant

Homes for a Lifetime LLC

Applicant: Bruce Fillmore
Project Address: 166 Colby Road, Weare NH
Builder Website: http://homesforalifetimenh.wixsite.com/home

Project Overview

General Project Overview:

The Gordon Home is a 2,150 sq. ft. three bedroom cape which was designed to be affordable to purchase and operate on a monthly basis. Both homeowners recently retired and in an effort to control their monthly living expenses, especially to keep those expenses from escalating during retirement they opted to purchase a much more energy efficient home then what is typically available on the market today. Homes for a Lifetime had previously built an ENERGY STAR home for their daughter, when they realized what their daughters energy bills were, Homes for a Lifetime was there go to builder for their own home. In learning what the Gordon’s goals where, we quickly realized that there was an opportunity to go all in on this home and develop a plan that meets their requirements and would have very small (if any) annual energy consumption. The major challenge was to keep this all within a set budget without sacrificing items like hardwood flooring and granite countertops.

Special Features:

  • Single-level living potential for the future.
  • Basement is conditioned space.
  • Two stall oversized garage under
  • Cape style roof, requiring the installation of a ventless hot roof insulation system.
  • Dormered roof section in center of roof, creating cheek walls to insulate and air seal properly. This also broke PV array into 3-sections, creating additional details to work out.

Orientation and Envelope:

  • Rear house roof is oriented directly south allowing ample space for a roof mounted solar array.
  • Home energy Rating Scored (HERS) score of 8
  • Blower door result of 0.84ACH50 nearly achieve PH standard of 0.60ACH50
  • Basement slab was covered with vapor barrier and then insulated with 2” of EPS foam board equal to an R-12.
  • Interior foundation wall treated with Insofast insulation equal to an R-10.
  • Exterior wall sheathed with Zip R-sheathing (OSB mated to a 1” sheet of polyisocyanurate rigid foam board insulation,) to reduce thermal bridging.
  • Exterior walls framed using semi-advanced framing techniques, insulated with 3 inches of spray foam equally an R-21 then a R-13 fiberglass batt (R-40 exterior wall assembly, including ZIP-R sheathing).
  • Wall and roof sheathing air-sealed with Zip-R flashing tapes, and spray foam where appropriate.
  • Kasson and Keller windows with u-values of 0.24 (roughly R-4) and solar heat gain coefficient of 0.25.

Heating Cooling and Hot Water:

  • Mitsubishi Hyper-Heat condenser with 5-outlet branch box supplying 5-interior wall mounted fan coil units providing heating and cooling.
  • Navien NPE-240A Condensing, Propane, tank less water heater provides on-demand hot water with no storage losses, unit has a built in recirculation pump and controls.
  • Propane fireplace that can heat the entire house in the event of a power outage


  • Ventilation is achieved with a continuously operated Panasonic Whisper Green Fans set to move 50 CFM constantly, with ability for user to turn on high speed when room in use.
  • Passive radon system has been installed
  • GarageVent, garage ventilation controller with fan delay and temperature settings with a motion detector to exhaust unwanted fumes.


  • 100% of the house is outfitted with LED bulbs or fixtures.
  • ENERGY STAR refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer and ceiling fans.
  • The electric loads have been minimally designed to allow a 7KWH PV system to offset most if not all of the home’s electric demands.
  • 200 amp electrical service


  • 7Kw roof mounted solar array
  • Canadian Solar panels with Enphase micro-inverters.
  • Enphase website system name DG-SW.

Resources sustainability features:

  • Domestic water system designed to WaterSense Standards.
  • High Efficient HVAC, Hot Water, Appliances and Lights .
  • Building Integrated Solar Photovoltaic System .
  • EPA Indoor airPlus Qualified Home.

Project Team

Designer: Bruce Fillmore, Weare NH

Bruce has been designing and building homes since 1989, in the past 10+ years he has been developing systems and methods to achieve Zero Energy homes at an affordable cost to construct, utilizing off the shelf and readily available materials. Builder: Homes for a Lifetime LLC, Weare NH Homes for a Lifetime has been building homes for over 20 years in New Hampshire. In 2005, High performance home become Bruce Fillmore’s passion and focus. Since then Bruce has completing many homes while receiving awards for his commitment in advancing the home building industry as whole. He continues to be a leader in teaching other builders and industry professionals on ways to build Zero Energy Homes at affordable, reasonable prices.

Framing: Gary Labrie Carpentry, Weare NH

Gary started framing with his father as a teenager, and has been in the industry ever since. Gary is very passionate and his workmanship and attention to detail is unrivaled. When we first approached Gary about constructing air tight homes he was a bit apprehensive about it, but as we worked together identifying air paths through the air envelope, we devised simple techniques to address each. In the end we are able to consistently create homes with predictable air leakage results and achieve our goal of less than 1ACH@50PASCALS.

Insulation Contractor: Qualify Insulation, Nashua NH

Quality Insulation is a full-service insulation company in Nashua, NH. They are local professionals representing a respected national brand. Steve Lussier has assembled a local team of highly skilled, knowledgeable, and professional men and women in the industry. His team has a strong understanding of building science which they are able to couple with the latest in insulation technologies. Steve manages each project to ensure quality, efficiency and timely execution.

Renewables: Homes for a Lifetime LLC, Weare NH

When Homes for a lifetime decided to make the jump to Zero Energy Homes, They decided they could have better control over the entire system if they installed the roof mounted PV in house. By going this route they had better control over the installation workmanship, as the installers are more familiar with home construction and understand what it takes to ensure a quality installation. This also insures that there are licensed electricians handling every aspect of the electrical component installation, from grounding clamps to PV panel installation, not just at the electrical panel.

HERS Rater: GDS Associates, Inc. Engineers & Consultants, Manchester, NH

GDS provides commercial and residential energy consulting, HERS rating and other certification services throughout New Hampshire. Clients include designers, builders, and homeowners of single- and multifamily homes who want to build healthy, durable and energy-efficient homes that provide unsurpassed comfort for their occupants. GDS has worked with the NH Utilities for well over a decade certifying thousands of ENERGY STAR Homes.

Project Photos

Project Specifications

Building Information Design Specs As Built
Conditioned Area (sq. Ft.) N/A 2150
Bedrooms 3 3
Housing Type Single family, Detached Single family, Detached


Design Specs

As Built

Slab Floors N/A R-13
Foundations walls N/A R-10
Framed Floors N/A R-30
Walls N/A R-40
Vaulted Ceilings N/A R-51.5
Flat Ceilings N/A N/A

U-value N/A U-Value – .24
SHGC N/A SHGC –  .25


Design Specs

As Built
Space Heating (primary only) >Efficiency (HSPF, COP, Etc. Heat Pump Air- Source Heat Pump
10.3 HSPF
Air Conditioning > Efficiency (SEER, EER) Heat Pump Air- Source Heat Pump
19.7 SEER
Water Heating  > Efficicency (EF) Instant Propane Instant
.97 EF
Ventilation  > Flow Rate N/A Pansonic Whispergreen
50 CFM
Infiltration Rate Under 1 ACH50 .84 ACH50


Design Specs

As built
Photovoltaics N/A 7 KW
Solar Thermal N/A TBD
Other Renewables N/A TBD

Annual Energy Use (MMBTU/Yr)

Code Built Home

This Home
Heating 13336 4443
Cooling 769 752
Water heating 202 129
Lighting & Apppliances 4988 4865
Photovoltaics 0 -9350



Final HERS Rating 100 8