509 Wayland Ave

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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.


First, what is LEED?


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one of the most popular green building certification programs used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently. 


LEED is a voluntary certification program for green building. Recognizing excellence in the building of high performance homes. LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy. 


The decision to pursue LEED certification under LEED for Homes was a great opportunity for the home owner and builder/designer, but it has also been a challenge. This website is for the benefit of whomever is interested in LEED and the Full-Gut Rehab. LEED cannot be retrofitted into existing homes or buildings. LEED requires that the home be of new construction or a Full-Gut Rehab,(to the studs). 


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 homes on the East Side which is obviously the big challenge!  

  An overview on the credits and features

This is an overview of the many of the steps taken to rebuild a 100-year-old home and turn it into a High-Performance, LEED Platinum Certified Home. The home/project is in fact a registered project with the USGBC, United States Green Building Council to participate in the LEED for Homes Certification Program. Once the project is 100% complete, a contracted, third party inspector will make a final inspection to submit documentation and evidence that the systems installed and building practices were performed to the programs requirements. Testing is also performed on the home’ envelopes tightness, along with the different systems efficiencies. Take note that throughout the different stages of construction, the third-party inspections have been ongoing. The third-party inspector answers to the USGBC, not the homeowner.

The LEED for Homes Certification Program is built on eight credit categories, these categories include Innovation in Design, Location and Linkages, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Education and Awareness. Projects achieve points by satisfying various prerequisites and optional credit requirement in each credit category based on each individual credit’ language. All credits are geared toward different methods of building practice. A project accumulates points for each credit that is attempted and satisfied. Once a project earns the required point total for the planned certification level, (Certified 45-59, Silver 60-74, Gold 75-89, Platinum 90-136) a project is then awarded that level of certification.

We are planning on Platinum Certification, our point total required to meet is 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 plan to achieve is 96.5 with the possibility of achieving up to 13 more points for a grand total of 109.5.

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 plan to use only drip irrigation in planting beds to minimize evaporation.
We plan to install moisture sensors
Timers will 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 recently 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 will also be inspected during the third-party inspection for compliance.

Materials and Resources

Material -Efficient Framing - Framing efficiencies, 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 Guard decking, 90% recycled content and maintenance free
EnergyStar Exterior Doors
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.

There are credits that have physical components and applications which are listed above. The following list of items reflect credit requirements for administrative credits as well as credits that reflect the site and its location of  the site along with the attributes of the surrounding community.

The following credit categories, Innovation in Design Process, Locations and Linkages, Sustainable Sites, Education and Awareness and their credits that we have met or exceeded are listed below.


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 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 tree of four.

Landscaping -  No Invasive Plants, only locally indigenous, drought resistant plants. No lawn or turf. Stone and mulch 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 - Planting 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 - This credit calls for a design to minimize run-off and erosion from the site. We installed an engineered permeable driveway. 36-inch various sized crushed compacted stone base with locally manufactured, Belgard interlocking Permeable Pavers.

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.

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 will be providing and additional two hours of training the homeowner. We will also provide a DVD with operations and maintenance information on the homes LEED for Homes measures.

It is also important to note that this project is also registered 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.

As a direct result of choosing to obtain LEED for Homes certification in an existing home, the entire home has been addressed and rebuilt. LEED can be used in existing homes, it cannot be “retro fitted in”, the home must undergo a full and total gut of the interior to the studs to qualify. This offered the opportunity to fix or replace any structural deficiencies or infrastructure issues that were found. This included, new basement concrete floor, French drain flood prevention system. New sewer drain pipe to the street in addition to a new fresh water supply from the street placing an old lead line. Sagging floor and bowed wall framing was properly addressed and fixed or rebuilt. New roofing, house wrap and exterior sealing methods were also utilized or installed. New Western Red Cedar shingles and trim has been installed on the home. New gutters and downspouts, Property line, cedar fencing.