As the family uses the home year-round, careful attention was paid to insulation, air tightness and efficient mechanical systems, including in-floor heating. The house was integrated into the natural topography of the site to connect the interior and exterior spaces in an organic fashion. Solar orientation and summer and winter sun angles were studied to help keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The list of COTE (AIA Committee on the Environment) items was created to help understand how a project meets the needs of users and how it impacts the environment. The list focuses on best practices and high impact strategies for creating healthy places to live and work. Here are some ways this project measures up to the COTE list:
The site sits between Great East Lake and a significant bird habitat. It was critical to plan the site so the home would not fall within any significant setbacks. The gently sloping site was ideal for a walk-out basement on the long end of the home.
Integration of local landscape and trees limits damage to the natural canopy.
Low volume fixtures were used throughout the home and limit the impact on the local water body.
The house is designed to function off the grid during major outages. A combination of high-performance windows and durable house shell and energy efficient fixtures and appliances allows the house to be independent for several weeks using a generator and limited gas supply.
Low VOC products and natural timber framing was integrated throughout the home. Special attention was paid to make up air and air filtration via the mechanical system. An abundance of natural light and passive solar gain help energy levels.
Contractor — Eco Sound Builders
Year Completed 2009
Size 3,500 square feet