Project Description

This house was designed and built for a young family that wanted a new home of modest size built with sustainability as a high priority. The simple shape of the house helped to reduce the construction cost. The rural setting includes south-facing views of the large field behind the house.

Special Features:

  • Open plan layout
  • Oak beams in main living area
  • Wood-burning stove
  • Brick chimney runs through house and is open to both floors

Green Building Approaches:

  • Rear of house faces solar south to capture winter heat
  • South wall of house is shaded from summer sun by roof and trellis
  • 2.9kw PV panels generate electricity
  • Pre-cast concrete stud foundation includes 1” of foamboard insulation to reduce thermal bridging
  • 3” of mineral wool board insulation added to foundation stud bays
  • Exterior walls and roof built from structural insulated panels (SIP) which eliminate thermal bridging
  • SIP panels are an excellent technology for achieving an air-tight thermal envelope
  • Exterior walls are 4.5” SIP panels with 3.5” of 2lb polyurethane foam
  • Roof is 10” SIP panels with 9” polyisocyanurate foamboard insulation
  • Roof is strapped with 2×4’s on edge for vented roof
  • Energy Star double-glazed windows
  • Fiber cement siding installed over drainage wrap
  • Direct vent, condensing oil-fired boiler provides hot water for space heating
  • Indirect hot water tank stores hot water from boiler
  • Hydro-air back-up heating system
  • Energy recovery ventilation
  • Brick chimney is centrally located and open, radiating heat from wood stove
  • Operable skylight above central stairway allows natural draft for summer cooling
  • Transom windows above bedroom doors allow air flow for cooling with doors closed