Barbara Putnam of Litchfield, Connecticut has a degree in architecture. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she worked for an environmental research and education firm before eventually striking out on her own. One measure of what she’s learned about environmentally friendly design can be seen in her design for her own home. She topped a portion of it with an Englert jobsite-fabricated metal roof system with integrated solar energy and thermal systems.
The 3,500 sq. ft. three-bedroom home features 2-3/4 baths, a living room, kitchen and study. Added to one side is a 1,700 sq. ft. office/studio and garage. Built onto the back is a greenhouse.
Conscious of the cost associated with the roofing upgrades, Putnam only used metal roofing on the south-facing side of the home—comprising about 1,000 sq. ft. of area—and limited the installation of the solar energy and thermal systems to a 242 sq. ft. dormer. The roofing was Englert’s Series 1300 standing seam. The photovoltaic laminate panels attached to them were Englert’s SunNet branded thin-film product. The solar thermal system was sourced separately and installed just below the roofing panels. The system was designed as a supplement to the home’s hot water tank.
Monitoring of the systems began in March 2007. In its first year of operation, electricity bills during the summer months were reduced by 50%. For the year, they were 40% lower. The solar thermal system, which is used in tandem with propane heat and hot water, helped the home use 18 percent less propane during the initial heating season in 2007 and 37 percent in the following years.