In Thurmont, Maryland Denis and Brienne Superczynski have been working quietly for years on a remodel of their three bedroom home. The couple purchased the 1950’s bungalow style home in 2005. The house is located in a quiet neighborhood in Thurmont Maryland.
They gained 75% more space and, taking advantage of state and federal incentives, spent comparatively little money while massively reducing their energy usage through a variety of active and passive green energy technologies.
Thoughtfully designed, the remodel includes LED lights, clerestory windows and passive solar lighting. Windows are positioned to take best advantage of the sun’s natural heat in the winter months, while roof overhangs block direct sun and help to keep the home cooler in the summer.
On the roof of the house are six solar panels providing the household with heat and warm water. During the day, water is pumped through a closed system of water tubes that run through the panels, heating water from ground temperature, about 55 degrees, to 165 degrees.
At night the water drains back into a holding tank in the basement. The heated water circulates beneath the floors of the house, providing radiant heat in the winter. Though there is a gas-powered, high-efficiency backup water heater, its use is generally limited to the sunless, shortened days of mid-winter.
Every detail, down to positioning the air conditioning vents in the ceiling (because cool air falls while hot air rises), seems to have been taken in to consideration during the remodel.
Throughout the project the family tried to keep as much of the original hardwood flooring as possible. Some of what had to be removed became a butcher-block style kitchen countertop. Aluminum siding, copper wiring and old roofing shingles removed during construction were all recycled.
The Superczynskis have certainly accounted for nearly every detail. From the obvious solar panels on the roof, to the specifically chosen concrete driveway (asphalt driveways become massive heat islands in the summer), this family has interwoven their comfortable living with 21st century energy technology. [2011 Western MD Solar Tour]