ENGLISH MANOR ESTATE: Orange County, NY
On a rainy afternoon in New York City Andrew met this client for the first time. He had heard that Wright Architects had installed a geothermal well in a historic brownstone in the middle of Manhattan. Within twenty minutes the client had a 30”x42” survey on the table and was explaining exactly what he wanted. And thus the firm was hired.
The client had a 20,000 sf Great Gatsby style mansion built in 1925 with two swimming pools, a tea house, a barn and guest house that spent $250,000 on energy costs per year, although the house was used only for two months out of the year. The firm’s first objective was to create a net-zero home through the use of geothermal, solar and solar thermal applications. We thus needed to create a net-meter relationship with Orange and Rockland Utilities Company. The utility company needed $750,000 to handle this large harvest of electricity. So, instead we spent $300,000 on batteries and cancelled the utility service. This is called a micro grid solution.
By insulating the house, changing windows, removing oil, reducing gas, reconfiguring air flow, rebuilding the pool, monitoring control, connecting the house and garage, and upgrading a few suites, Andrew created the largest residential micro grid on Earth. And it worked all of the time, something not shared by over 90% of the micro-grids built. So, there you go! Something green that is pretty!