A sustainable modern beach house in the dunes.
The homeowners wanted to commission the design of an environmentally sensible beach home on Cape Cod. The trick was that they had some unusual space requirements, a narrow lot on an environmentally sensitive site, and a magnificent west-facing view. The entire extended family gathers over the summer and on holidays, while the couple uses the home by themselves during weekends throughout the year.
CREATIVE PROGRAMMING. To planning for the extreme variation in occupancy, the home is split into a ˜Living Bar' and a ˜Sleeping Bar.' The Sleeping Bar is the expansion module with numerous bedrooms & bathrooms to accommodate the entire family. The Living Bar includes the living and dining areas, as well as a secondary master bedroom – all that the couple needs when the children are away. This allows the Sleeping Bar to be shut down during the majority of the year to decrease energy use.
PERFORMANCE CHALLENGE. The site has a spectacular west-facing view of the water and sunset. The area of west-facing orientation of the glazing used to capture this view certainly isn't ideal for energy performance. The narrow lot size, combined with the client's square footage requirements and the obvious desire to be able to take in the view from the primary living space made the un-ideal orientation of the glazing unavoidable. Therefore the rest of the building envelope performance offsets the luxury view by using superinsulation. The geothermal system, coupled with a radiant heating system, supplies all of the heating and cooling for the year.
SOLAR WITH BACKUP. The roof sports a large solar electric array to offset energy usage through the use of net metering. A battery back-up and energy management system stores electricity from the solar array to ensure the basic functions of the home through blackouts without the use of a gas-powered generator.
SELECTIONS. Choices were also made to promote healthy indoor air quality. Flooring was limited to slate, bamboo, and polished concrete, while omitting any carpeting that might capture dust, mites, mold, or moisture. The rapidly renewable bamboo flooring is bound with nontoxic glues. The insulation in interior walls and floor, used for sound insulation and to improve the performance of the radiant heating system, is formaldehyde-free. An air exchange and energy recovery system will provide clean fresh air throughout the year.