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House Proud

Loving the land with a low-impact home



John Post decided on a Cape design, with a metal (and solar) roof and prominent overhangs, and green aspects inside.

Photo by John Post and CK-Architects

As Gerald O’Hara advised his daughter Scarlett: “Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything.” And it was the land that brought John Post to Litchfield and Old Mount Tom Road to build his dream house. “I was drawn to this property by several key features,” Post explains. “The open space and rolling topography and the interplay of meadow and forest. Also, the light afforded by the significant solar exposure grabbed me big time. For me, it’s always about the light.”

Post, who worked in pharmaceuticals for most of his career, has always been interested in the environment and climate advocacy. “I’ve studied the whole business of climate change and feel we are largely responsible for it. My plan was to build an energy-efficient house that would not affect the environment at all.”

Post was referred to Campaigne Kestner Architects, a small design firm in Guilford. Since Litchfield is a historic town, traditional in its architecture, they settled on a classic Cape design featuring a metal roof and prominent overhangs. “John was very specific about what he had in mind,” says Russ Campaigne. “The property was designed as a working farm with a compact main house, a detached garage, and a separate barn. We clustered the buildings on the west side of the site, leaving much of the existing meadow area available for farming. Due to high ledge conditions and our interest in avoiding the environmental impacts of blasting, we designed the homeon a super-insulated slab-on-grade foundation that was pinned to the ledge.

This made for an extremely tight and well-insulated foundation, minimizing the heat loss and air infiltration challenges associated with a traditional basement system.”

CK-Architects specialize in designing houses that push the envelope with new technologies. In 2003 they received the first gold-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) house. On the first floor, Post wanted an indoor/outdoor feeling with an open floor plan. The public rooms offer an expanse of windows that play up the extraordinary views. The master bedroom and bath are also on the first floor. “Upstairs there are two bedrooms and a bath,” says Post, “as well as the mechanical room. Because there is no basement, we had to find a place to put everything.”

Everything includes the mechanical system responsible for the energy-efficient running of the house. It resembles something out of a science-fiction movie, stainless steel and immaculate: an on-demand hot-water heater, inverters for the solar panels that indicate how much electricity is generated; an energy recovery ventilator that automatically exchanges interior and exterior air to ensure a healthy environment. The geothermal system monitors both the heating and cooling systems.

The orientation and envelope, which encompasses the windows, insulation, and framing, were crucial for an energy-efficient, almost self-sustaining structure. The new home was placed at the high point of the site, which allows for sweeping views as well as a natural breeze that helps with cooling. 

Post’s 2,400-square-foot house is a prime example of a net-zero home: so air-tight, well-insulated, and energy-efficient that it produces as much renewable energy as itconsumes, leaving the occupant with a net-zero energy bill and a carbon-free environment. Much of that is due to the impressive insulation that was used. “What we installed is 60 percent above code,” says Campaigne. “We employed a technique called strapping, in which the interior walls, the exterior walls, and the space between the two all contain insulation.”

Post estimates his total energy costs to be about $18 a year. He can actually look forward to a rebate from his utility supplier.

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February 2017

The Loft Gallery will host a collection of works by abstract painter and collage artist, Tom Hlas of Norfolk, Connecticut. This exhibit will be on view from January 7 – February 19. An...

Cost: free and open to the community

Where:
Loft Gallery
10 Main Street
New Preston, CT  06777
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Sponsor: Loft Gallery
Telephone: 860-868-9003
Contact Name: Susan Newbury
Website »

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Little Free Library Stewards Rose Buckens and Jo Ann Jaacks will host a combined indoor tag sale fundraiser and informational gathering at St. Michael’s Community House, 23 South Street, just off...

Cost: Free

Where:
St. Michael's Community House
23 South Street
Just off the Litchfield Green
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Little Free Library
Telephone: 860-567-4456
Contact Name: Jo Ann Jaacks
Website »

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TAG SALE FUNDRAISER FOR LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES IN THE Little Free Library Stewards Rose Buckens and Jo Ann Jaacks will host a combined indoor tag sale fundraiser and informational gathering at St....

Cost: Free

Where:
St. Michael's Community House
23 South Street
Just off the Litchfield Green
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: The Litchfield Hills Little Free Library Grass Roots Project
Telephone: 860-567-4456
Contact Name: Jo Ann Jaacks
Website »

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Come and see the wonderful artwork by Litchfield students! Litchfield Center School students have been working on identifying and       creating a variety of lines,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Instructor: Nancy Stuart Celebrate President’s Day by serving a few favorite dishes of some of the world’s most powerful men. Ages 5-12 Full Participation

Cost: $45 per person full participation

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

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Enjoy online learning and engaging discussion at the Oliver Wolcott Library with the Monday Scholars! Monday Scholars combines the best of online learning with face-to-face classroom discussion!...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Come and see the wonderful artwork by Litchfield students! Litchfield Center School students have been working on identifying and       creating a variety of lines,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

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Come and see the wonderful artwork by Litchfield students! Litchfield Center School students have been working on identifying and       creating a variety of lines,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

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Look of Love features the jazz music from artists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Duke Ellington. It will have toes tapping and heads bobbing to familiar favorites. With excellent vocals,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Come and see the wonderful artwork by Litchfield students! Litchfield Center School students have been working on identifying and       creating a variety of lines,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

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Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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A package goes missing on Caroline's stage coach trip. Discover what travel on the stage coach was like in Early America as we discuss the book The Travelers Tricks, A Caroline Mystery on Thursday,...

Cost: $7 members; $10 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
Contact Name: Megan Olver
Website »

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Come and see the wonderful artwork by Litchfield students! Litchfield Center School students have been working on identifying and       creating a variety of lines,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St.
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Keeler Library is looking for submissions from local artists (Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties)  to be exhibited in a benefit for the library at Saint James church in North Salem...

Cost: $25

Where:
keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Coming to the Main Stage at the Warner Theatre.... This BRAND NEW musical based on the bestselling book by Mary Pope Osborne takes the stage and features students of the Warner Theatre Center...

Cost: $15.50.

Where:
Main Stage - Warner Theatre
68 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Sponsor: Lufkin Family Foundation
Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
Website »

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Portrait and landscape painter Diane Dupuis is teaching a new class this winter at the Washington Art Association & Gallery. Winter provides the perfect opportunity for painters of all levels...

Cost: $165. mbr. $230 non-mbr

Where:
Washington Art Association
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington, CT  06794
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Sponsor: WAA
Telephone: 860.868.2878
Contact Name: Barbara Von Schreiber
Website »

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