Maynard, MA Residence

The clients met Carter Scott at a gathering celebration at the Wisdom Way Solar Village in Greenfield, MA.  They were all there to see what they could learn from the near zero energy development.


  • Square Footage: 1250
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1
  • One Floor Living
  • In-fill Lot

Passive Solar

  • Appropriately Large Amount of Shaded Southern Glass, High Performance In-Line Fiberglass Windows,  Colored Concrete Slab Floor for Thermal Mass


  • 6.15 kW Grid-tied Solar Electric System, 12" Thick Double Studded Wall with R-42 Cellulose, R- 63  Cellulose Attic Insulation, R-20 Rigid Slab Insulation with R10 on Exterior of Frost Wall, R-7 Windows, 2 Panel Solar Hot Water System, ENERGY STAR Certified Rating of -8, Energy Star Tier 3 Certified in Massachusetts


  • Whole House Ventilation, Low or No VOC Materials/Sealants/Paints, Hard Floor Surfaces


  • Water Conserving Fixtures, Rapidly Renewable Materials, Low Maintenance Materials

A few weeks later, the clients called Carter and set up a meeting.  They  had the desire  to design and build a small energy efficient, passive oriented home on a lot they were about to purchase in Maynard, MA.

As a physicist, one of the clients was very knowledgeable about thermal properties and desired a high mass passive solar home from the outset.

Transformations worked with the Aperio Group, LLC and the clients to accomplish their goals.  A single story, high mass, passive solar home was designed.  The Stephens/Clarke residence in Montague, MA was used as a reference guide.  Tina Clark graciously gave the clients and myself a tour of their newly built zero energy home.  

The southern facade was designed for maximum solar gain in the winter with high solar heat gain coefficient glass, appropriately sized.  These window were shaded for the warmer months.  The winter sun comes in and warms the 4" colored slab concrete floors.

The R-42 walls are 12" double studded 2x4's with a 5" gap between the two walls and filled with cellulose.  The slab had 3 layers of 2" EPS rigid board under the slab, 4" of the same material on the slab edge and another 2" board on the outside of the 4' front foundation walls.  This last exterior insulation board  received a coat of stucco.  The R-Value under the slab was 30 and the R-Value on the outside of the foundation was 10.  The In-Line fiberglass windows were in the R-7 to R-9 range, triple glazed and filled with krypton gas.

The home has a heat recovery ventilation system and one mini-split which supply quiet heating and cooling to the home.  A two panel solar hot water heating system was installed.  A 6.15 kW PV system was installed.  The Energy Star Home (2010 Tier III) came in with a HERS index of -8.

A winter morning in the house was described to our site coordinator.  "When we went to bed around 9:00 PM, the home was at 72 degrees.  At 6:00 AM, when it was 7 degrees outside,  it was at 66 degrees and then at 8:00 AM it was climbing back up at 68 degrees.  Mr. Slim was quiet through the night."  The air source mini split that we had installed was set at 65 degrees and never came on that cold winter evening---even though it got in the single digits outside!