Chris and Sue were living and working in the Boston area when they began considering the possibility of moving to the Upper Valley area of Vermont. They and their two young daughters would often spend weekends in Quechee, VT, where they were drawn to the landscape, the activities, the culture and the pace of life. Eventually the question became too strong to ignore: why were they living in Boston and spending weekends in the countryside, when they might be able to live in the countryside and make occasional trips to the city for work?
They began researching the real estate market in the Upper Valley, and making arrangements to do their jobs remotely. As it turned out, one of the deciding factors in their choice of a building lot was the “blazing fast” internet on the road, which would facilitate working from a home office.
When they didn’t see any existing homes for sale that would meet their goals for location, energy efficiency, health and comfort, Chris and Sue began researching options for new construction. With a background in manufacturing, Chris was particularly drawn to companies like Unity that make extensive use of prefabrication.
Chris and Sue were impressed by Unity’s use of technology and automation, they liked the idea of working within a design framework that provided limited options, and they appreciated Unity’s emphasis on high performance. They were also “all in” on the idea of having an all-electric house that would be Net Zero. As the parents of two young girls, Chris and Sue are serious about reducing their carbon footprint, and the impact of their lifestyle on future generations.
These clients appreciated the condensed time frame that Unity was able to provide for their home. Chris said he was astonished by how quickly the shell was assembled – in fact, he almost missed the raising. “Five guys in their twenties and a crane operator put our house together in three days!”
Sue and Chris echoed what we hear from many Unity clients about our team members and subcontractors: “Every single person who worked on our project was amazing!”
Sue recounted a particular instance in which Unity’s project manager and site supervisor were able to get an oversized couch onto the second floor. When it wouldn’t fit up the stairs, they were able to get the couch in through a second floor window. Sue said “Their willingness to tackle this was great, and they’re remarkably resourceful. Now when I sit on the couch, I sometimes marvel at how they figured it out!”
Comfortable, Healthy and Net Zero
Sue and Chris have remained comfortable in the home even during this winter’s occasional sub-zero spells – and that’s without using the supplemental electric heat. They find that the heat from their air source heat pump is more pleasant than other systems they’ve experienced. And the indoor air quality in the home? “Phenomenal!”
These clients anticipate that the 11.5 kW solar array installed recently on their roof will result in Net Zero performance for the home. They’ve had two Tesla Powerwall batteries installed to optimize their electricity usage, and they’ve “greened” their driving with a Chevy Bolt.
Do they miss living in the city? “No, we’re very happy we made the decision to move to this area, and we’re loving our new home!”
Total Living Area: 2,537 SF
2 Car Garage: 581 SF
Screened Porch: 209 SF
Entry Porch: 156 SF
For full details and description of this particular Varm home, please download the Open House pdf
Wall Insulation: R-32
Roof Insulation: R-60
Foundation Insulation: R-15
Windows: Triple-glazed tilt-turn
Air-tightness: 0.43 ACH50 (shell, post-raising)
Near Net Zero Performance with PV panels installed on
Chris and Sue
Every single person who worked on our project was amazing!