Bright-Minded Home January 2016

This house on a lake in Acton was designed by Kaplan Thompson Architects to look much smaller than it is. Nestled into its site, from the streetside, the house fits in with the neighboring homes.

Kaplan Thompson Architects, Spang Builders, and the homeowners implemented the following measures to minimize runoff around a lakefront home. Runoff often carries sediment, phosphorus, and other pollutants that can impair water quality and harm wildlife.

1. Removed boat ramp in favor of the town’s nearby ramp. The ramp was constructed of asphalt from the main road down to the water, and each time it rained, the runoff ended up directly in the lake.

2. Installed gutters around the entire house and tied them to underground dry wells. This keeps a lot of water out of the lake because the property slopes to the water. Spang Builders built ground contours and earth berms to direct rainwater across the entire lawn before reaching the shoreline.

3. Selected Pearl’s Premium grass seed
for the lawn because it has a 12-inch root system. The long roots help soak up water that would otherwise end up in the lake. The result is a lawn that is very green and lush at all times without requiring irrigation. Lawns that require fertilizers are not advisable
for lakeside locations and are costly to maintain.

4. Replaced six large pines that had to be removed before construction with seven fruit trees and a number of blueberry and raspberry bushes. The trees and bushes help to manage runoff and provide edible fruit.