The English Residence by ZeroEnergy Design

December 1, 2009

ZeroEnergy Design, a Boston based architecture and energy consulting firm, has designed the English Residence, located in the town of Orleans, Massachusetts.

Full description after the photos….

The English Residence by ZeroEnergy Design

ZeroEnergy Design designed this residence to replace the original building but remained true to the family traditions that have developed since the land was purchased in 1958. Back then, as a botanist and a world class statistician, the client’s parents each followed the academic calendar enabling them to spend summers on the cape in rental home. Being conservation oriented, they planned to tread lightly on the property – imagining self sufficiency and living with the land in the simple, modern structure they would eventually commission.

Over time, that original house became a central hub, the place to connect with international family members, and the most consistent place they all considered home. The entire family loved art; between pieces collected from their world-wide travels and those developed by the amateur painters in the family, art was always an integral part of the house. The new home offers year round living and continues the legacy of a modern artistic home, treading lightly and focusing on the outdoor environment. New features include the clean, green feeling throughout the house, healthy indoor air quality, very comfortable and stable temperatures from the radiant floors, and exceptional energy performance with renewable energy systems. And, the artist family members immediately felt that the new home’s bright red, orange, and cedar colors really ‘made the house’.

On the ground level, an open porch provides indoor/outdoor living with safe, step-down decking as stairs, which can also be used as seating for larger family events.  A roof deck on the second level of the house offers the wonderful feeling of living in the trees, with a glass rail to open the view and an outdoor kitchen for entertaining. Abutting the roof deck is a lush, living green roof built to fill the view with green vegetation at eye level while seated, as well as provide insulative value, energy savings, and reduce roof run-off from storm water.  The second level rooftop reveals 2.5 kilowatts of solar electric panels which provides ~30% of the home’s electricity.

The master bedroom features views of the lake through the trees, an open style walk-in closet, and a full bathroom with a double length sink and a deep soaking tub. Awning and casement windows on opposite sides of the bed, two at floor level and one near the ceiling, encourage passive ventilation with cool air on hot summer nights.

A wide open living space functions as the ‘heart’ of the home, with areas for relaxing, dining, and cooking. Recessed cabinets float off the floor and hide a vast pantry within the wall. Open shelves inspired by the client’s admiration for Julia Childs offer quick access to dishware. The generous counter space provides ample working area for food prep, stool seating for everyday use, and. a built–in wine rack to cradle each vintage.

The construction of the home features specialized hurricane-resistant structural reinforcement and windows for coastal storm conditions, spray foam insulation in the wall cavities, rigid foam to eliminate thermal bridging, and a mix of fiber cement and cedar siding on the exterior for long term durability and low maintenance. Flooring finishes consist of rapidly renewable bamboo in the living areas, travertine tile at the entries, and recycled glass tile in the bathrooms, and FSC certified Garapa decking on the porch & roofdeck.

Construction for the home was completed by Cape Associates of Eastham, MA. This project is ENERGY STAR Certified, and has been registered with the USGBC LEED for Homes program in an effort to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Visit the website of ZeroEnergy Design – here.