Juniper House at Merriwood


Since the onset of the pandemic, Maine has seen an influx of out-of-staters and developers who have turned their eye toward more remote and idyllic settings for their projects. Our clients began their project, Merriwood, ahead of this trend. Like most developers, they share the same quest to capture a piece of the Maine lifestyle for their clients, but unlike most, they aim to preserve it, hold it dear, and honor it with a development philosophy based on sustainability, preservation, and being a good neighbor. Their homes are designed to be part of a resilient, net-zero community (making as much energy as they consume) with an organic farm and shared lakefront amenities.

This philosophy is epitomized by the Juniper Home design. This modest, modern high-performance, single-bedroom home has just under 1,000 square feet of living space and a 200-square-foot screened porch. The goal of the design is to create a strong connection to the site. The home is oriented to the south to maximize natural daylight (filtered through the canopy of trees), and its living space opens to a waterfall deck and stone patio. A generous screened porch shares this deck and becomes a focal point of the design. These features, combined with large sheltering overhangs and naturalized landscaping, extend the outdoor experience for the owners, root them to the site, and connect them to the natural environment.

The home will be built from highly insulated assemblies (R-44 double-stud walls, R-68 roof, and R-30 insulated slab) and have triple-pane high-performance windows. The design is extremely airtight, with fresh air provided by a small but mighty energy recovery ventilator. A single-car garage provides ample utility space and supports the solar panels and battery backup system that will provide the home most, if not all, of the energy it will need.

Location: Howard Lake, Robinston
Architect: Briburn Architecture
Builder: Maine Construction Group
Construction start: Summer 2021
Construction complete: 2024

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