Delachaise Street Home
Biggest Lesson Learned: The HVAC company I used was Energy Star accredited, but it was like pulling teeth, and they’re still putting in a larger system; they still wanted to round up the tonnage. On all the houses I’ve done, I’ve used a full ton smaller than the rule of thumb, and it’s fine. It’s frustrating to have to have this argument.
Another Lesson Learned: We tried putting ductwork in the attic, like a “doghouse” covered with foamboard and lots of insulation, between trusses. But it’s better to have higher ceilings and put the ductwork in conditioned space with dropped soffits; they can be strategically placed and also look good, such as to help separate areas of open floor plan.
In general, I’ve been relatively surprised at how little LEED’s requirements were from what we were doing already. For example, it was good to confirm that efficient framing is OK by engineering standards. We simply made incremental changes in every aspect of construction, not just one big change. We achieved high performance without solar. I’d rather build smarter than more…
Most people who buy my work want low maintenance – new or all redone – or, the traditional New Orleans look with modern conveniences, in a desirable neighborhood.