Seaside Farmhouse

Location: Deer Isle

Architect: Eric A. Chase Architecture

On the surface, the renovation of this Deer Isle home is only skin-deep, but “it’s what you don’t see that sets this 100-year-old farmhouse apart,” says architect Eric Chase, who designed updates that harmonize with the simple vernacular style prevalent throughout Maine. The redesign opens up the first floor and includes a new connector to the barn from the ell and a new 14-foot bay window to enlarge the living room and enhance its ocean view. Outside, Chase designed an octagonal screened porch with a second-floor deck that wraps around the home’s northwest corner. “Each new element flows from the existing design and honors the original architecture,” says Chase.

Scott Blanchard of Eric A. Chase Architecture, working with the client, who is a committed naturalist, developed a design to retrofit the farmhouse with new energy-saving technologies. After furring out the walls, Blanchard insulated the house and roof with five inches of Corbond spray foam. A Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pump system supplies a low-temperature radiant hot water and heating throughout the house.

In the barn, nail-based panels insulate the exterior walls and roof, and two Fujitsu mini-split air-to-air heat pumps stabilize the temperature. An energy-recovery ventilator circulates air within both the house and the barn. On the roof, a seven-kilowatt grid-tied solar electric array supplies electricity to run the heat pumps and ventilation as well as for other electrical needs, and the grid stores summer’s excess electricity for winter’s sun-shy months.

Visitors to the site don’t see any of the energy system equipment, but the client quietly knows of her contribution to the environment. 

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