As scientists and educators, our clients were interested in pushing the boundaries of how buildings could become more efficient. As environmentalists, they wanted to get as close to a carbon-neutral lifestyle as possible. They desired to remain in their neighborhood of closely-spaced smaller homes, so when an older home with structural problems around the corner became available, our clients decided to purchase it and rebuild using the existing foundation.
The owners dreamed of not only a house that would be on the cutting edge of technology, but would also fit in amongst the neighborhood’s other century-old homes. A smaller, traditional style with a modern, sleek interior was desired. The house should be capable of converting into single-floor living if needed in the future. The house should also attain a LEED Platinum certification, with the idea of pushing beyond those standards into deep-energy construction.
Design & Architecture: Michael Klement
Project Managers: Jeremy Thybault and Kirk Brandon
Getting to net-zero energy use in Michigan’s cold climate is very difficult. Geothermal heating and cooling is necessary, and a building envelope that is highly energy efficient is also required. We had to find a way to make a wood-frame structure capture and store passive energy, while shaving energy use from every item that we could.
While the house was designed to maximize energy efficiency, architecture and interior design were never left behind. The house is one of the finer examples of traditional architecture in the neighborhood of older homes’, and the clean, sleek interior maximizes usable space and creates visual delights throughout.