Couple design home’s plumbing and mechanical systems, hope for highest LEED rating

MADISON, WIS. – Carol Richard, an architect, and Fred Berg, a retired engineer, designed their own three-story 2,700-sq.ft. home and detached garage, including the plumbing and mechanical systems, and oversaw the construction. The couple hopes their house will be the first in Wisconsin to qualify for the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for a single-family home.

MADISON, WIS. ­­– Carol Richard, an architect, and Fred Berg, a retired engineer, designed their own three-story 2,700-sq.ft. home and detached garage, including the plumbing and mechanical systems, and oversaw the construction. The couple hopes their house will be the first in Wisconsin to qualify for the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for a single-family home.

Richard, a principal with the Richard Wittschiebe Hand Architectural Firm in Atlanta, and Berg bought a vacant lot here more than seven years ago. The couple recently moved to Madison from Atlanta and started overseeing construction of the house.

"We were definitely going to build a green house," Richard said. "There's no reason not to build a house today that has the best energy usage you can do.”

For the plumbing system, a Rinnai Natural Gas R75-LSi tankless water heater that has separate lines to each appliance was installed. It has a central manifold system with individual 1/2" insulated pipes, leading to all the hot water fixtures, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets and showerheads.

The mechanical system is made up of a Renewaire ventilation system that feeds a three-stage, gas-fired Carrier Infinity furnace and air conditioner, Fronius inverter and Aprilaire Air Cleaner 2200.

The house also uses solar energy. Twelve Kyocera KD 205 solar panels are located on the roof of the detached garage, providing electricity to supply about half of the home's annual energy needs.

The home was built by Yahara Builders of Madison. The energy-efficient house was completed in February.

Additional information is available at: http://rossstreethouse.com/.