Modern green home design doesn’t always have to be flashy and exotic. Maryann Thompson Architects designed this simple, yet refined, contemporary residence to meet a client’s desire to create an environmentally sensitive and sustainable home that could be built within a limited budget. The home’s design is deliberately straightforward – a simple box structure adorned with an asymmetrical roof line – a direct response to the client’s request that the house express the attitude of “benign neglect.” The North Easton, MA residence, which is nestled in a typical suburban development of neo-colonial homes, received LEED Silver certification under the USGBC’s new pilot program for housing. The house sits at the end of a 900′ driveway on a heavily wooded lot which abuts conservation lands and belies the suburban setting. The 3000 SF home was designed to be aesthetically sympathetic and integrated into its 5.5-acre site and incorporates low maintenance and naturally occurring materials – reflecting the homeowner’s relaxed and informal lifestyle.
Many common-sense sustainable features were incorporated in the home’s design. Expansive windows on the front façade take full advantage of the house’s south-facing orientation.
During the winter months, when the sun is lower in the sky, abundant natural light enters the public spaces and upstairs bedrooms, opening the house to solar gain and thereby reducing mechanical heating demands. The house’s remaining heat requirements are resolved via two pellet stoves and an efficient radiant heating system powered by solar panels. The asymmetrical roof shields the upstairs rooms against the intense summer sun.
Cross-ventilation eliminate the need for for central air-conditioning without compromising comfort. The residence also features recycled and energy efficient materials, including a recycled-tire rubber roofing system, reclaimed hardwood cabinetry, casework and flooring materials, recycled glass tiles and thermal efficient windows. Running electrical lines to the house assures the residents access to an emergency power source and enables them to sell unutilized energy back to their local utility. Very green indeed.