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The 100-year-old Holt Residence’ LEED Platinum Certification makes a strong statement, no matter the condition, location or age of the home, it can be a healthy, sustainable, high performance, environmentally friendly one if carefully planned and built. The home, 509 Wayland Ave, located in the historic East Side of Providence, Rhode Island. Is a quaint Dutch Colonial, built in 1907 on a lot in what is known as Freeman Plat. The neighborhood is the oldest in Providence, dense development, walking distance to all community services, open spaces and public transportation. A perfect location! A perfect location for a LEED certified home.


We registered the project with LEED in June of 2015, using Version 2009, 3.0 edition, it was an exciting time for what was about to be an adventure in the rebuilding a nearly 100 year old home to create the most energy efficient, healthy, environmentally friendly home in the State of Rhode Island, which was a very big challenge!  It was discovered that our project was not only the first full gut rehab in the state of Rhode Island, but also the oldest, at 100 years old to be awarded Platinum Certification. The Holt Residence is also the first Platinum Certification in the Capital city, Providence, RI.



We received Platinum Certification on July 17, 2018. Our point total required to meet was 88, because of a Home Size Allowance calculation with LEED based on home size to the number of bedrooms. At last count of total points, we achieved 104 points.

The following are either methods or systems that have been installed or implemented at the Holt residence.


Water Efficiency

Water Reuse - Rainwater capture system which conveys all roof storm water to a buried, 1000-gallon water cistern. The water is pre-filtered in the tank and then pumped out by a powerful in tank pump into the home where the water is filtered and disinfected and purified by a series of micron filters and UV light. The water is then used for indoor potable use in addition to a high efficiency drip irrigation system. This self-cleaning system is run by a digital control panel located in the basement. There is a low-level sensor in the tank, if the tanks water level runs too low the controller opens a 3-way valve which places the home back on city water automatically, in the event of a power outage it turns automatically also, there is also a manual override.

Irrigation Systems – This credit calls to minimize outdoor demand for water through water-efficient irrigation measures.

We installed drip irrigation in planting beds to minimize evaporation.
We installed moisture sensors
Timers are also utilized also be used

Indoor Water Use - We installed High efficiency bathroom plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets that have .09/.05 gpf, flow rates in all bathrooms.  We also installed low flow, WaterSense labeled faucets that have an average flow rate of 1.50 gpm and shower heads that are also WaterSense labeled with an average flow rate of 1.50 gpm.

Energy and Atmosphere

Insulation - The entire home is insulated with a hybrid system consisting of closed cell and open cell spray foam. The closed cell foam was installed directly to the studded exterior walls, this product seals the home against air and moisture and offer a very high r-value.

Air Infiltration - This credit requires a reduction in the home envelopes leakage rate to 2%. A blower door test was performed on the home to test the tightness of the envelope, results were less than 1% leakage rate. This exceeds the LEED standard by 1%. (Note: The average home has a leakage rate of 15% – 20%)

Windows - We installed exceptional windows that exceed EnergyStar requirements, Pella windows, with Low-E Glass and Argon Gas filled panes.

Space Heating and Cooling Equipment –

•           Coleman 96% efficient natural gas furnace

•           Coleman 16 SEER AC

Water Heating - Hybrid water heater, heat pump

Domestic Hot Water Distribution System - Hot water pipes are limited to runs of 20’ between the hot water heater and the fixtures. Pex type piping was used for supply lines instead of copper.

Domestic Hot Water Pipe insulation – We insulated the hot water pipes with R-5 pipe insulation.

Lighting - 100% LED, EnergyStar light bulbs.

Appliances - All applicable appliances are EnergyStar labeled.

Residential Refrigerant Management – AC equipment does not use Freon or any other gas or refrigerant that threatens the atmosphere and ozone layer. R-410a is used which meets the LEED for Homes standard. The system was also inspected during the final third-party inspection for compliance.

Materials and Resources

Efficient Framing - using streamlined lumber reduction methods and utilizing offsite produced floor and roof trusses, along with engineered laminated beams. These products were used in the building of additions and garage.

Environmentally Preferable Products -

•           All Paints, primers, and adhesives and floor finishes are very low or zero      VOC                 

•           Locally sourced materials

•           FSC wood cabinets

•           FSC interior doors

•           DuPont Zodiac Quartz Surface countertops, environmentally friendly and sourced, manufactured within 500 miles of the home.   

Moisture Shield decking, 90% recycled content and maintenance free

Waste Management
We diverted 97% of all waste from the landfill.



Indoor Environmental Quality

Combustion Venting – We meet the following requirements.

No unvented combustion appliances are installed
Carbon monoxide monitors are installed on each floor
No Fireplaces
Water Heated by electricity, Furnace is close combustion and direct vented to the outdoors with a fresh air return.

Outdoor Ventilation - Broan ERV Energy Recovery Ventilation System. This system provides heat transfer between the incoming outdoor air and the exhaust air stream. It offers balance to such a tight home. The ERV is EnergyStar labeled.

Local Exhaust

Kitchen ventilation, Broan EnergyStar range hood.
Panasonic Whisper variable speed bathroom exhaust, with occupancy sensors in both full bathrooms.
Exhaust fans in both half bathrooms, EnergyStar.

Air Filtering - MERV 13 Air filters, (The Best)

Radon Protection - Radon protection system is installed and direct vented through roof via and inline radon pump.

Indoor Contaminant Control – The following has been installed to meet this credit.

Central Vacuum system with a direct vent to the outside.
Permanent shoe removal and storage area, (Mudroom)

Garage Pollutant Protection - Detached garage meets the credit.

Innovation in Design

Drain water heat recovery system, cutting edge technology. Preheats incoming water before it enters the water heater reducing the amount of rise. The product installed is called, PowerPipe.


Integrated Project planning – The planning stage, this is where a project maximizes opportunities for integrated, cost effective adoption of green design and construction strategies.

A Preliminary Rating It was determined during these planning sessions that we would work to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.

Professional Credentialed with Respect to LEED for Homes – The builder is the LEED AP on this project.
Durability Management Process - completed a risk evaluation form to identify all moderate and high-risk durability issues for the homes interior. Identified and incorporated all the applicable indoor moisture control measures listed here.

Tub, shower areas, the use of non-paper backed concrete board on walls and floor.
Kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room, installed waterproof flooring, no carpets.
Within 3 feet of and entry into the home, no carpet was installed.
Tank water heater over living space has a drain pan installed directly to a drain and placed under the unit.
The conventional clothes dryer is direct vented permanently to the outdoors through a wall, not a window.

Clothes washer has been installed with a single-throw supply valve, along with braided, stainless steel supply lines.

Durability Management - During construction, there has been quality management processes in place to ensure the installation of durability measures.

Third-Party Durability Management Verification – Inspection team ensured that all durability measures were successful.


Location and Linkages

Site Selection - Requires not building in the following areas.

Land located in a floodplain defined by FEMA
Land specifically identified as a habitat for species that are on federal or state threatened or endangered lists
Land within 100 feet of any water, including wetlands as defined by US Code of Regulations
Land with “Prime Soils”.

Preferred Locations - This credit encourages building homes within or near existing communities. 509 Wayland is previously developed land within an existing community.

Infrastructure – This credit encourages building within a ½ mile of existing infrastructure (i.e., sewers and water supply)

Community Resources and Transit – This credit encourages building close to community services and public transportation, thereby minimizing the dependency on automobiles and their associated environmental impacts. This project has outstanding community resources, with over 14 within a ¼ mile and over 125 transit rides per day are available from a bus stop that is within a ½ mile from project.

Access to Open Space – The credit requires building within ½ mile of publicly accessible or community based open space that is at least ¾ of an acre. Blackstone Boulevard park/path which is located a tenth of a mile away meets that requirement.

Sustainable Sites

Site Stewardship - Soil erosion controls were put in place during construction, minimizing disturbed area of site and protected any trees on site. We saved three trees of four.

Landscaping -  No Invasive Plants, only locally indigenous, drought resistant plants. Less than 14% of the landscape holds turf. Stone and mulch was utilized. Dry stack, flagstone retaining wall in front of home, a rain garden in front of the retaining wall.  The design of the landscape and its features help to avoid invasive species and minimizes demand for water and synthetic chemicals in addition to run-off and erosion.    

Local Heat Island Effect - Planted trees to provide shading of at least 50% of all hardscapes, sidewalk and other walkways. We also utilized light colored, high-albedo driveway pavers to fulfill this credit.

Surface Water Management - We installed an engineered permeable driveway. 36-inch various sized crushed compacted stone base with locally manufactured, Belgard interlocking Permeable Pavers. 100% of the lot is permeable!

Nontoxic Pest Control - Our design features reduce the need for poison to control insects, rodents and other pests. All wood parts of structures are at least 12-inches above soil. No direct wood to concrete connections. Landscaping to be kept at least 24-inches from home at maturity. Installing a sand barrier around homes foundation. Non-toxic bait system is also utilized.

Compact Development - This credit makes use of compact development patterns to conserve land and promote community livability, transportation efficiency and walkability. We built in an existing structure that meets this credit.


Education and Awareness

Education of Homeowners/Tenant – This credit helps maintain the performance of the home by educating the occupants about the operations and maintenance of the homes features and equipment.

Basic Operations Training – Provide the home owner with the following items:

The completed checklist of LEED for homes features.
A copy of signed accountability forms, these forms track accountability and the individuals who were responsible for certain installations of the home.
A copy of the durability checklist.
The product manufacturers manuals for all installed equipment, fixtures and appliances.

General information on efficient use of energy, water and natural resources.
Operations and maintenance guidance for a LEED for Homes related equipment installed in the home. This includes HVAC system, ventilation systems, humidity control equipment, radon protection, irrigation and rainwater harvesting equipment.
Guidance on occupant activities and choices. This includes cleaning materials, methods and supplies, water efficient landscaping, impacts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation, lighting selection and appliance selection.
Education on “Green Power”

Walk-through – A minimum one-hour walk-through of the home with the occupants featuring the following.

Identification of all installed equipment.
Instruction on how to use the measures and operate the equipment.
Information on how to maintain the measures and equipment.

Enhanced Training – We provided and additional two hours of training with the homeowner. We also provided a DVD with operations and maintenance information on the homes LEED for Homes measures.

It is also important to note that this project was also register with the EnergyStar Program, the home automatically qualifies to be a EnergyStar Certified home as a result of the LEED measures implemented which meet or exceed EnergyStar.

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