Simple & Sustainable
THE DRAWING BOARD-March 2011
A light-filled, efficient home is a collection of simple shed forms
The clients’ goals for their home are to radically downsize their living space, meet a tight budget, keep maintenance and energy costs low, use sustainable materials and products when and where appropriate, and create a light-filled, comfortable home for two with space for much-loved family heirlooms. A separate workshop and a studio/guestroom are also required. The site is a small, level corner lot in an established in-town neighborhood next to their current older home.
The design is a collection of simple shed forms, connected by a covered walkway. The main structure takes advantage of passive-solar heating and daylighting through clerestory windows. Wide roof overhangs shelter windows from the hot summer sun. The workshop and studio is a separate shed, located to protect an existing apple tree and provide a private garden space. A pergola-covered patio extends the living room into the garden.
The unpretentious design masks the effort to make it “green” and “sustainable” in practical ways. Non-custom, standard building materials and products will be used and locally sourced whenever possible (such as wood products and windows produced nearby). The horizontal steel siding requires little maintenance to last a long time. The building envelope will be tight, well insulated, and surpass the new Maine energy code. A heat-recovery ventilation system will provide fresh, clean air during colder months, while natural ventilation will cool the house in summer.