Having followed the development of Lindsay Scott’s new home in South Sound over the past year, it is exciting to finally see everything come together into what is a truly magnificent home for him and his family.
Go with the flow
Energy efficiency and disaster preparedness are concepts that have been woven at every point into the design and construction of the home.
“We’ve now got the air conditioning up and running and it is proving to be an excellent system,” Scott says. “Not only is it highly energy efficient, it is also extremely quiet.”
The a/c system is managed separately in four zones of the house – the bedrooms, the media/laundry area, the office and guest bedroom area and the living area. The temperature control is flexible, depending on which areas are occupied, although Scott points out that the temperature only varies by a few degrees in each zone. The a/c units run continuously.
Scott leads me through the house and points out the airflow in each room.
“To maintain a proper flow of air circulating in every room we’ve installed an a/c vent on one side of the room and the return duct on the other. This means that when the cool air is heated it raises and is sucked out of the room by the return air duct either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise manner,” he explains, adding that some homes do not always have return ducts in each room, causing poor air circulation within the home.
The two Daikin R410A condensers that keep the a/c continually moving are located underneath the house, which is built on pylons. In this way the condensers are protected from the elements and are cooled by the breeze that passes under the house.
In a further bid to keep the condensers cool, Scott has had Polar Bear install a heat exchanger, which draws the heat from the refrigerant in the condensers and feeds it to his water heater.
“In this way the a/c rarely needs to use electricity to keep the coolant cool and my water heater does not need to use electricity to heat the water. In fact, the heat exchanger helps me produce more than enough hot water for my family’s needs,” Scott comments.
Letting light in
Now that the house is finally becoming furnished, it is interesting to note just how light and airy each room is.
“We’ve designed the house so that no one need turn on a light during the day,” Scott explains. “Once you open the shades there is plenty of light in every room.”
Blinds to be fitted on the windows are from the same maker as the windows themselves – Windoworld’s Tiltco – and are designed to work with the windows, which can tilt as well as open conventionally.
“All our windows are specially designed to keep the heat out while letting the light in,” he states.
Five stars for energy efficiency
All kitchen appliances are Kitchen Aid and all are from Al Thompson’s. The kitchen has a huge central island carved out of mahogany from Guatemala, the same material used to make the house’s unique custom-made front door. Ensuring a great match to the island with his kitchen cabinets, Scott employed the services of local firm Mario & Sons to mimic the mahogany wood throughout the kitchen.
“I think they did a great hob matching the Guatemalan mahogany with their custom cabinetry,” Scott confirms.
The laundry room also houses an energy efficient front loading washer and dryer, this time made by Whirlpool.
“We chose their Energy Star brand, which is highly energy efficient,” Scott says.
Underneath the house there is plenty of storage, which Scott says he plans to use to house his solar equipment needed to convert the energy from the solar panels. However, he is adamant that the law needs to change before he would consider installing this ultimate in energy efficiency apparatus.
“We are waiting for net metering to occur before we go the next step and install solar panels,” he confirms. “This means that CUC pay us the exact same amount for the excess electricity that we may generate and therefore put back onto the grid as we have to pay them for any small amount of electricity that we may need to consume from them. At the moment the imbalance in their favour is not conducive to installing solar panels, even though I could be reducing my carbon footprint right now by powering my home using solar energy.”
Never-the-less, Scott says that he is delighted with the energy efficiency systems that he has been able to install into his home and anticipates a monthly CUC bill of between $300 to $500 for powering his 3,400 square foot home.
Read more on this in upcoming editions of the Journal as the Scotts settle into their dream home.