Monday, February 16, 2009

Energy Efficient Home, East Machias, Maine

Here’s a plan for our clients, Pat & Andy, who are building a vacation / retirement home in northern Maine. Wanting a home that was both energy efficient and comfortable in all seasons, Pat and Andy met with us to talk about their ideas and budget last fall. They own an existing cabin, which will remain on the property as guest quarters. The new home will be located down the road on the lake. The home design is 1100 square feet of efficiency and will be built right on the lake to take advantage of the gorgeous seasonal views and abundant wildlife.

The program includes energy efficiency, conscientiousness, durability, and security, solar access, and building orientation. Lake views are prominent to the east, south, and west, which coincides nicely with passive solar design considerations and give an excellent opportunity for a continuous porch on these elevations. The cold north elevation has a minimal amount of windows to help keep the home warm while allowing for a planned future addition on this side. The entry and kitchen are located on the south-east side of the building, granting easy access to the driveway and unloading of groceries.

To keep the building energy efficient, a second floor takes advantage of views from the higher elevation and also to keep the home’s footprint to a minimum, controlling costs and site impact. This divided the program into two floors – the first floor being the public space and the second floor serving as personal space for Andy and Pat.

With permits in place, we just moved into the construction phase of the design. We’ve talked about SIP panels (structural insulated panels) and windows and will make decisions on energy efficient building materials soon. Things will be moving along quickly so they can break ground this spring. Look for updates soon!