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Press Release

Par/PAC™ Inc.
Christmas Cove

53 Coveside Rd., P.O. Box 153
South Bristol, Maine 04568

FAX 644-1503



NEWS RELEASE: Par/PAC™ Inc. building a PASSIVE SOLAR demonstration home at Christmas Cove destined for the U.S. Department of Energy's web site as a prescriptive guideline for builders of energy efficient "green" homes

Christmas Cove, Rutherford Island, South Bristol, Maine, May 5, 2006 . . . Putting Mother Nature's radiant energy to work in the form of free winter heat from passive solar for new homes got underway this spring in South Bristol. Par/PAC™ Inc., a builder/developer, broke ground on a uinquely designed 3,434 square foot PASSIVE SOLAR ThermSmart home. The goals of the project are to provide the U.S. Department of Energy with a step by step replicabable prescriptive design format for builder use anywhere in America. A second goal is to demonstrate a cost-effective answer to soaring residential energy costs.

Richard Munson, Par/PAC™ Inc. president, pointed out that people are shopping for more fuel-efficient automobiles by analyzing the "CAFE" standards posted on new cars. They should also be seeking answers as to the energy efficiency of the homes they are buying.

Tom Allen, Maine's fifth term First Congressional District Representative and member of the House Committee of Energy, has agreed to submit the completed par/PAC™ Inc. ThermSmart PASSIVE SOLAR SYSTEM to the U.S. Department of Energy for consideration as a set of practical guidelines for builders who want to join the challenge of helping to free Americans from their slavish dependence on imported fossil fuels for home heating and cooling.

At a recent meeting in Portland, Congressman Allen and his chief of staff, Mark Ouellette, signed onto the passive solar prescriptive demonstration home concept out of their belief that every American should pitch in to support this noble, patriotic cause. What better way than to demonstrate to builders and prospective home buyers how to capture free radiant energy winter heat from Mother Nature with passive solar design specifications that work without moving parts and/or the need for added budget-busting active solar roof mounted panels and related equipment?

Richard Munson, par/PAC™'s president, who has lectured on energy efficient construction techniques in China, Australia and in Europe, announced that par/PAC™ Inc. has employed the services of Bruce Torrey of Building Diagnostics Inc. of East Sandwich, Mass., to collaborate on the PASSIVE SOLAR prescriptive guidelines for builders that would be applicable to any sized home to be built in climates where winter cold or summer heat is a driving force in the cost of staying warm and/or cool as well as comfortable and safe. An estimated 40% of America's imported fuel is used for home heating and/or to generate the energy for air conditioning.

The first phase of construction featuring an in-floor radiant heating system was completed April 29. Poland Plumbing and Heating of Bristol worked cooperatively with McClintock Foundations Inc. of Nobleboro to complete the pre-framing phase ahead of schedule.

The first of the delivery of building materials including formaldehyde-free engineered Advantech floor sheathing were being delivered by Handcock Lumber. Kevin Handcock, Handcock Lumber's president and CEO, added his company's support to the patriotic cause by agreeing to hold his company's lowest cost competitive bid pricing firm throughout the duration of the PASSIVE SOLAR demonstration home project due for completion by September 1.

Other supporters of the project include Sewall Electric, Gallant Artesian Wells, Ace Insulation of Bucksfield and construction financing by the First Bank of Damariscotta.

Par/PAC™'s construction division, Riessen Construction, located near Omaha, Nebraska, was brought in to provide design consulting and framing supervision.

Munson explained that all passive solar homes start with a tight, well-insulated south-facing airtight shell combined with windows with low "e" glazing. The ratio of glazing conforms to the accepted ratio of 7 percent glazing to the total floor area. The windows in the demonstration home are Visions 2000® all-vinyl casement eyebrow windows and patio doors, each with low "e" glazing consisting of two panels of glass, one with a Low E2 surface and an argon gas-filled insulating airspace. "They are produced by Weather Shield® Windows & Doors, a Medford, Wisconsin-based manufacturer with an exceptional reputation for quality," said Munson.

The unique ThermSmart structural design by par/PAC™ Inc. is intended to absorb passive solar heat gains by the interior thermal mass of the structure during sunny days and slowly release that heat after sunset to help maintain comfort levels. Cloudy, overcast days reduce passive solar heat gains. When that happens, the in-floor radiant heat is used to maintain comfort levels.

The energy performance of the design will be double-metered to separate non-heating appliance electrical usage from lighting and miscellaneous electrical use. Upon completion of the passive solar demonstration home, thermography and depressurization blower door testing will be conducted by the Building Diagnostics engineer, Bruce Torrey. An air infiltration (L/R . . . leak ratio) of less than .9 air changes per hour at 50 pascals is the performance goal, said Munson.

The complete diary of all construction and design/materials will be maintained consistent with the Sustainable Building Industries Council's green building guidelines.

In keeping with the United States Green Building Council guidelines, cellulose insulation will be used in the par/PAC™ ThermSmart design. The par/PAC™ system, originally patented in 1993, has been proven to reduce heating and cooling energy usage by 50 percent or more. "The cellulose [90 percent recycled content] greatly outperforms fiberglass in thermal resistance by a factor of roughly 1.5" according to Chris Briley of TFH Inc. Architects.

Contact Richard Munson, par/PAC™'s president, at 1-877-937-3257 and/or visit the par/PAC™ website at

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