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Local business owner begins zero-energy revamp of historic Enfield building

Kimberley Quirk, the owner of the Energy Emporium on Main Street in Enfield, NH, has broken ground on an innovative retrofit of an historic building in Enfield known as the “Leviston House” at 78 Main Street. This project combines a 150-year-old building with the latest innovations in energy efficiency technology to achieve what is known as “zero net energy”.

The Leviston House began its life as one of several buildings as part of a tannery located on the site in the 1850s. It was a residence for most of the 20th century until a fire in the mid 1990s left it unoccupied. It was purchased by the Enfield Village Association (EVA) as a potential site for a town building. The EVA stripped the building’s interior and began finishing the exterior, but lacked the resources to complete the project and it sat idle until Ms. Quirk and her husband Kent purchased it earlier this year. Their plan is to turn it into a multi-use building that will serve as the Quirks’ residence on the upper floors, with the Energy Emporium retail store and showroom on the ground floor. They are planning on keeping the outside look of the building and having the building listed on the registry for historic buildings.

“It is really exciting to see this project get underway after many months of planning,” Kimberley stated. “We have three goals for this project: Zero net energy building, LEED-H certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and no combustion.”

Zero net energy usage means this building will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources. The plan is to use an array of solar collectors to heat a large underground storage tank during the warm seasons, and to extract that heat in the cold season to heat the house. This project has been planned and evaluated by a integrated team of specialists in heating, solar collection, and water storage technology.

LEED-H provides us with guidelines for green building construction, air quality, water use, and conservation. No combustion means nothing in the house will require burning. There will be no oil furnace, gas boiler or propane heating unit. It also means there is no threat of carbon monoxide.

Most of the individual parts of this system have been in use for many decades. Putting them together with a well-insulated house is what makes it work.

Kimberley welcomes interest in the site, and is blogging the progress of the construction online. “We invite anyone interested to come by and ask questions, or read more about this project at the website:”.

1 comment to Local business owner begins zero-energy revamp of historic Enfield building

  • I sartted an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Units) design and building company two years ago. It's been a lonely road but now I'm thankful to see that other people get it. Thanks for naming ADUs as # 6 in your top ten.

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