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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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March 2017

Regarded as one of the key figures of 19th century literary realism, Henry James’s work is valued for his psychological and moral realism, his masterful creation of character, and his assured...

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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Cost: Free for members; $5 non-members

Where:
Litchfield History Museum
7 South Street
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Litchfield Historical Society
Telephone: 860-567-4501
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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
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Telephone: (860) 868-2878
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Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
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Litchfield, CT  06759
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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Cost: $33.

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Nancy Marine Studio Theatre - Warner Theatre
82 Main St
Torrington, CT  06790
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Telephone: (860) 489-7180
Contact Name: Warner Theatre
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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

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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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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
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Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 860-567-8030
Contact Name: Tricia Messenger
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The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
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Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

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Cost: $13.00pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
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Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
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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
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Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

Cost: Free

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

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

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Cost: $140.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

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...
Show Less...

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Telephone: 860-868-7586
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

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...
Show Less...

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

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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Cost: Free

Where:
White Memorial Conservation Center
80 WHITEHALL ROAD
Litchfield, CT
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Website »

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Chef Daniel Rosati   MENU: Fresh Pea & Parmigiano Crostini Citrus & Oregano Rubbed Roasted Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Green Herb Sauce Greek Roasted Fingerling...

Cost: $110/Full Participation per person

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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The music organization Crescendo in collaboration with the Norman Rockwell Museum and Berkshire Children's Chorus, present the world premiere of a multimedia work by the Berkshire-based...

Cost: $30 general; $50 premium

Where:
Saint James Place
352 Main St.
Great Barrington, NY  01230
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Sponsor: Crescendo
Telephone: 518-592-1009
Contact Name: Kathy Drake
Website »

More information

The Washington Art Association & Gallery is pleased to encourage and showcase work by determined and committed visionaries in their exhibition curated by Zeb Mayer, “Do Not Pass Go: A...

Cost: Free

Where:
Washington Art Association & Gallery
4 Bryan Memorial Plaza
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Telephone: (860) 868-2878
Website »

More information

Chef Daniel Rosati   MENU: Creamy Asparagus Soup with Asiago Cheese Crisps Silky Milk Braised Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Shallot Sauce Tuscan Farro & Sugar Snap Pea...

Cost: $110/Full Participation per person

Where:
The Silo
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: The Silo
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Contact Name: kim Prange
Website »

More information

Enjoy an evening of music with Brooklyn based vocalist, keyboardist, composer Nicole Zuraitis and the Nicole Zuraitis Quartet.  Using world travel experience as inspiration for her sound,...

Cost: $100.00 pp

Where:
Litchfield Community Center
421 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-8302
Contact Name: Litchfield Community Center
Website »

More information

Marcey Hladik is a native of Litchfield who started painting as an adult, taking her first lessons in oil painting from her mother-in-law, Edith Hladik, an accomplished artist and teacher. Since...

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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