The Sungazer House is Energy Star Certified. Sprayed-in-place polyurethane foam provides an R-49 roof and R-32 walls. Rigid polystyrene under the the slab on grade area is R-20, and foil-faced fiberglas in all floors over basement provides R-30. Insulation values are at least 20% greater than locally required.
South facing windows maximize solar gain in the winter, and wide overhangs facing south minimize heat gain in the summer. A hybrid water-to-water and water-to-air Geothermal HVAC system combines radiant heat in the floors with ducted fan coils for forced air heating and cooling. A whole house HRV provides ample air exchanges.
Building materials are locally sourced, and a materials-control system minimized their waste during construction. Landscaping captures site water runoff and directs it to the on-site pond. The Geo system achieves “net zero” water consumption. The all-electric home consumes no fossil fuels.
The Sungazer house rises from the edge of the forest to overlook a picturesque pond to the west. The client, a nature lover and accomplished equestrian, desired a house built on this gentle slope to welcome the sun and celebrate the views of the pond.
The three connected one-story shed-roof pavilions reach out to the south, while stepping back to open up views to the west. A fourth similar pavilion encloses a connected garage to the north. Beneath the garage, a walkout north- facing studio takes advantage of a change in grade.
Wide-overhangs shade the south-facing windows in summer months. A pergola helps modulate natural light while providing a continuous display of changing shadow patterns. A deck on the south and west anchors the house and pergola to its gently rolling site.
On the north, the entry side provides a protective front to shield from harsh winter winds. However, upon entering, the house opens to expansive views of northern hardwoods and eastern white pines. Carefully placed windows tap the prevailing breezes to reduce the need for air conditioning.
The palette of materials reflect a hardy New England aesthetic, including eastern white cedar siding, painted white trim, and standing seam Galvalume roofing. The off-the-shelf readily available construction materials help minimize the carbon footprint and cost.
This house far exceeds the minimum requirement for Energy Star Version 3 Certification with an efficient building envelope, geothermal in-floor hydronic heat, and thoughtful solar orientation.