Energy Star Home

Royalston Home Wins $8,000 Energy Incentive Award
June 6, 2012

JL House June 2012 300x225 Energy Star HomeRoyalston, Mass. — Joshua Doub and Lydia Musco of Royalston have earned an $8,000 incentive for building a home that is almost twice as efficient asa standard home.

A typical new-construction home of the same size would have energy bills of about $340 per month, but the Doub-Musco residence is expected to average monthly electric bill of about $200. The house is 100% electric, so the monthly electric bill will cover heat, hot water, all lights, all appliances including a dishwasher and a clothes dryer.

The Massachusetts New Homes with Energy Star program offers three tiers of incentives to reward those homebuilders who build super-energy efficient new homes.

“It’s exciting to see builders, homeowners and architects striving for such deep energy savings — the homeowners will enjoy the results for years to come — a more comfortable home that costs less to operate,” said Megan McDonough from the Center for Ecological Technology. CET performed the required home energy rating (HERS) analysis and third-party inspections that led to the homeowners qualifying for the $8,000 Tier III incentive.  The house also received an Energy Star rating of 5 Stars Plus, the highest possible rating.

CET has been encouraging builders to make energy-efficient choices through the Energy Star homes program since it began in 2003.

The house of Josh Doub and Lydia Musco is a tall posted cape designed by Royalston Oak Timber Frames of Royalston.  It has an oak and pine timber frame that is enclosed by super energy efficient Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).  All the wood for the timbers and the first and second floor decking came from the building site and managed woodlots in Royalston. Tom Musco of Royalston Oak cut the frame and supervised the frame raising in June 2011.

“We have been designing and building energy efficient homes since 1977,” said Tom Musco.  “ People are finally getting really serious about energy efficiency and we have the tools now to quantify just how efficient a home of our design can be.”

“What I really like about this house is that it does not use any exotic systems or triple glazed windows,” Musco said.  “It has electric baseboard heaters and an conventional electric hot water heater.”

JL Frame Topping Off 300x202 Energy Star HomeWhen asked if building an energy efficient house was harder than conventional building Josh Doub, who was his own general contractor and did all the work to finish the house except the roofing, electrical and plumbing said, “ Timber frames are anything but conventional.  The structural insulated panels are the best material to create a high-R value, low infiltration envelope for a house.  But they present other challenges, especially for plumbers,” said Doub.  “Start with a good house design, use the highest R-value panels you can afford, and Energy Star rated windows and you will be on your way to having an energy efficient house.”

Project Highlights

► Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index of 58
► Passive Solar design to warm the space through the south facing windows in the winter
► Tight building envelope tested at 0.5 ACH50 with a blower door
► Whole-house ventilation provided by an energy recovery ventilator
►Structural Insulated Panels from Vantem Panel with R-40 insulation level in the walls and R-50 insulation level in the roof
►80 gallon conventional electric hot water heater
► High efficiency Energy Star appliances
► More than 80 percent of the lighting fixtures use efficient compact LED bulbs

5 Star Energy Certificate

Tom Musco, the founder and principle timber framer of Royalston Oak, began his professional woodworking career as a musical instrument apprentice to Peter S Kyvelos in Belmont, Massachusetts in 1973. Tom spent several years making and repairing a variety of Middle Eastern and Western stringed musical instruments. One of his dulcimers was featured in the first Fine Woodworking Design Book in 1976. Tom and his wife Judy moved to Royalston, Massachusetts in 1977 and began building timber frames, an interest he discovered in a beautiful timber-frame barn on his in-laws farm in Petersham, Massachusetts. His first frame was for his shop and his second frame was for his house. He made furniture and timber frames until 1980 when his shop was struck by lightening and burned to the ground along with all his tools and machinery. He built a new timber framed shop with the help of his neighbors and began timber framing full time. Tom was a founding member of the Timber Framers Guild. He has done workshops in NE ( Pembroke workshop at TFG ) and England. In 1989 Tom and his crew participated in the famous Concord Barn Raising episode of This Old House. He has built timber frames in New York State, the Hamptons, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alaska, and all the New England states except Rhode Island. Tom has crafted almost 200 timber frames since 1977. Tom is also an excellent cook with an interest in food of Sicily, where 3 of his 4 grandparents were born. He has written a series of articles on Sicilian food which you can read at the website of the Umass Journalism in Sicily Program.