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new residence norwich, vt

site description:

rural site with southern views


We began with the idea that the structure take its shape from the landscape. With compound angles of roof and walls we wanted the house to fold sculpturally into the south facing hill with a dynamic and textural form.  We designed and detailed the building envelope so that the complex geometry could be constructed with simple conventional methods and still maximize thermal efficiency, passive solar gain and meet the Passive House Standard (which it achieved) within the budget.  The house was designed for a family of 4 with 3 bedrooms and office on the second level and an additional bedroom for aging parents on the first level. The main space on the first level was designed with an open plan to allow flexibility in the future. All materials inside and out were selected for low environmental impact.  Windows were very carefully located to maximize the views, day lighting and passive solar gain. We used a combination of Galvalume and fiber cement siding to allow the geometry of the building to read. We carried the same geometry into the interior. Using floor to ceiling forms and casework we shaped the interior spaces to be open and day-lit. 


This house is all electric and fossil fuel free. Post occupancy monitoring shows that the modest size roof mounted 9kW PV system has enabled this house to operate beyond net zero as a net energy producer for the last 4 years. The combination of sustainable strategies, high performance envelope and systems with thoughtful design resulted to create a healthy durable house which has a reduced impact on the local and global environment.  We believe this home demonstrates the endless possibilities of fusing a high level of design with low environmental impact.


· zero net energy home

· energy star - 5+ star rated

· designed to the Passive House Standard

· environmentally respectful materials

· cold climate heat pump

· heat Pump hot water heater

· 9 KW Photo-voltaic system

· this house has achieved and documented Net Zero energy use


5+ energy star rated - HERS Score of 2

efficiency vermont high performance home program gold tier



efficiency vermont's best of the best comprehensive efficiency honor award in 2014

vermont green building network - vermont's greenest building 2014

conceptual model:

Photography bySusan Teare Photography

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