Top-Of-The-Line Comfort For Unique Home
The home, which sits atop picturesque Mount Helix in La Mesa, is kept comfortable with Lennox’ HSX19 air conditioner, the Lennox G32 furnace, four Lennox SignatureStat™ thermostats (which control temperature and humidity), and the Lennox PureAir™ air purification system, designed to eliminate dust particles, bacteria, mold, odors, and harmful chemicals.
These products are all part of the Dave Lennox Signature Collection. They are also Energy Star products, meaning they meet the EPA’s standards by using less energy, which reduces pollution. Energy Star products reduce energy use by 20 percent to 40 percent.
Johnstone, the owner, architect, engineer, general contractor, and builder of the home, is impressed with all the equipment. “I couldn’t ask for better quality equipment,” he said.
“It’s beyond what I envisioned.”
“This whole house is kind of a greenhouse; we generate our own electricity. We wanted a heating and cooling system that would be very efficient. Instead of a 10-ton air conditioner, I have a 5-ton, two-stage [air conditioner]. Instead of a 200,000-Btu furnace, I have a 75,000- to 95,000-Btu[furnace]. It’s a very efficient system.”
Solving The Revolving House ProblemsThis one-of-a-kind home maximizes the view by rotating the entire 5,100-square-foot second level in either direction at different speeds, completing an entire revolution in 30 minutes to 24 hours. It can continually turn 360 degrees or be stopped in any position. The home also has numerous high-tech features, including voice-activated lights, iris scanners that can scan visitors’ eyes from 20 inches away as part of the security system, and automated lighting that adjusts when necessary. The home, which was completed in August, has taken Johnstone, his wife Janet — not builders by trade — and a partner three years to build.
There were numerous challenges in installing the heating and cooling system of this one-of-a-kind home.
To solve this potential problem, Jenson and his team had to build numerous custom sheet metal transitions to keep everything close to the floor. Eleven metal beams stretch from the center of the second floor to the edge. Every time installers had to go under a beam, they installed custom round-to-rectangular-to-round sheet metal transitions to accommodate the ductwork in the space available.
It was challenging and time-consuming to fit all the ductwork, zoning equipment, and numerous pipes in a 12-inch crawl space between the second floor and the roof.
Limited space in the HVAC equipment closet also posed a problem. Custom sheet metal work was needed to help position the equipment. The PureAir would not fit under the furnace, where it is typically installed. Instead, it was installed on the side of the furnace, and transition ductwork was used to connect it to the return air vents.
Contractor Builds On ReputationJohnstone was impressed with Jenson and his crew. “I have to give kudos to everybody I worked with at Lennox. Everyone is knowledgeable. They are top-of-the-line folks.”
The home doesn’t have the HVAC system that Johnstone envisioned, but it meets his needs perfectly. Originally, he wanted two systems in the house—one dedicated heating and one dedicated cooling system. He also wanted heated air to be circulated through vents in the floor and cooled air to come from vents in the upper wall. Additionally, he wanted the home to have six zones.
“It was extremely complex,” said Jenson. “We spent a week trying to figure out a way to accomplish what the customer wanted. In the end we decided to scale down what he was looking for, but what he has will work much better.”
Lennox Territory Manager Alan Hoss, who referred the project to Jenson, also believes the job is top-notch. “This is a big, big house, and it seemed like it needed two systems,” Hoss said. “Bob was able to do it with one system. Hats off to him. He’s done a heck of a job.”
Handling tough jobs is nothing new for Jenson. “We have a reputation in the industry for handling difficult projects. We have a tendency to get these types of projects because a lot of companies will turn them down. They say ‘We can’t do that. Call Bob Jenson.’”
And that’s exactly what Hoss did.
Publication date: 09/08/2003