The Preserve at Mountain Vista is a new 9 home development being built
in New Paltz, New York with a special focus on achieving net-zero energy
consumption for all homes constructed. All of the homes built at the Preserve
at Mountain Vista feature Demilec USA Spray Foam, applied by The Foam
Guys out of Glens Falls, New York, to help achieve their net zero goals.
The following interview with Architect Dave Toder from BOLDER Architecture,
designer of The Preserve at Mountain Vista, is part 2 of a 3 part series
of interviews with the Architect, Builder and the spray foam installation
company involved with the development.
Click here to read the interview with Anthony Aebi with Greenhill Contracting
, the builder and mastermind behind The Preserve at Mountain Vista. Be
sure to check back for part 3 of the interview series featuring The Foam
Guys, to be published upon the completion of the development.
Dave Toder is the founder of BOLDER Architecture in New Paltz, NY. Dave’s
primary focus is on designing modern, comfortable, energy efficient homes
while working with the owners to create a living space that exceeds his
client’s expectations. Dave regularly incorporates products such
as spray foam insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heating
and cooling, insulated concrete form walls, triple pane glass and heat
recovery ventilators into his designs in order to achieve the project’s
goals for energy efficiency. He has put all of his knowledge into practice
when designing the homes being built at The Preserve at Mountain Vista.
Demilec: How important is energy efficiency to you when designing a new
home or commercial building?
I always discuss efficiency with my clients so they can maximize the value
of their project. Energy efficiency is a primary concern among other efficiency
issues. All of my projects are as energy efficient as possible, given
the scope and budget of each project, because this is best for my clients,
in terms of comfort, and environmental and monetary sustainability.
Demilec: Is “The Preserve at Mountain Vista” your first design
to achieve zero net energy usage?
The Preserve is the second zero-net energy development I’ve worked
on with Anthony Aebi, and we anticipate that the buildings here will perform
as well as at Green Acres, the first zero-net energy development, over
the course of their first year of occupation to achieve zero-net energy
usage. A new house in Gardiner recently achieved zero-net energy usage,
and another that was a deep energy retrofit of an existing house is near
zero-net. Other projects are too recent to have had a year of occupation
to confirm their performance.
Demilec: What was your goal when designing “The Preserve at Mountain
To provide the same level of quality, performance, and aesthetic value
as at Green Acres, at a better price so more people would understand the
up-front value of zero-net energy. Buyers and builders need to become
familiar with the inherent value and relative ease of achieving zero-net
energy, and The Preserve should do that.
Demilec: What elements are the most crucial when designing a net zero home?
Building tightness and insulation is the first concern. The insulated concrete
form walls, with the spray foam at rafters and under the slab, and the
triple pane windows achieve that. The next essential element is an efficient
HVAC system providing fresh air and temperature comfort at a low energy
cost, then the power generation in the form of the photovoltaic solar
panels on the south-facing roof.
Demilec: How long have you been including spray foam insulation in your
designs? What advantages do you think that spray foam offers over traditional
I’ve been including spray foam insulation in my designs for 6 or
7 years. It offers an air tightness that cannot be achieved easily with
other methods, and some types of spray foam can have significantly higher
R-values per inch than other options, both of which are vital to designing
sustainable new and renovation construction. I also like how spray foam,
at minimum, provides a ‘hassle factor’ to discourage rodent
and insect activity.
Demilec: What elements of energy efficient design do you feel will be “the
next big thing” in the design world?
To some extent it will be the widespread adoption of coordinating existing
technologies to achieve zero-net and near zero-net energy usage, like
at Green Acres and The Preserve, for all new and renovation construction
because it just makes sense, in terms of personal economic interest as
well as all the other reasons to ‘go green’. There are always
new technologies and concepts appearing, and there is some indication
that in the not-too-distant future buildings may be able to absorb sun,
water, and air through the building envelope as an integrated ‘skin’
similar to biological systems. I’m looking forward to seeing the
Click here for Part 1 of the interview series featuring Anthony Aebi of
For more information on BOLDER Architecture and Dave Toder, please call
visit them online.
For more information about Greenhill Contracting, please call 845-594-5076 or
visit them online.
For more information about The Foam Guys, please call 518-932-2989.
For more information and sales inquiries about The Preserve at Mountain Vista,
visit them online.