Sustainable, Modern Cottage

This house focuses on merging traditional with modern while keeping sustainability in mind as the first LEED certified house in Athens, GA.

The Newcomer Residence project comes to us from Bork Design in Athens, GA. As someone who has been a LEED Accredited Professional for over 5 years, I will be the first to admit that there are aspects of the LEED initiative and process that I do not like. However, I will also admit that there are lots of positives in the movement to build “sustainable” and “green” along with the other terminology that gets built. If nothing else, site orientation coupled with window placement + overhangs, insulation values, HVAC systems etc. should be looked at on a house-by-house basis and not copied and pasted all over like many houses currently are. Most of the positives are practiced more on the commercial side while residential architecture remains fairly stagnant in terms of sustainability due to cost reasons for the average American homeowner.

The Newcomer residence is fortunately a great example of someone who did keep energy efficiency and sustainability in mind on a residential project while still keeping cost reasonable. From the street, this house has a lot of traditional elements with a little angularity that hints at the modern sensibilities tucked away inside. It meshes nicely with the surrounding houses while still having a personality of its own.

Once you are inside, this deceptively 2,700 ft2 house has a very open floor plan inside with a modern look that would find itself blending in seamlessly with other houses inside an issue of Dwell.

In addition to having a classicly modern design, this house was designed with several forward-thinking features. In addition to just plain good design (site + window orientation, passive ventilation), technologies like solar hot water heating, low flow fixtures, energy star appliances, energy efficient lighting, high efficiency windows, and others were used to reduce utility usages of all kinds for this house.

This house encompasses so much of what I am interested in. I think architects and homeowners should be just as interested in having a well-built and utility-efficient home as they should be with making their house aesthetically appealing and unique. To learn more about this project and to see many more pictures, please visit Bork Design. Additionally, all photographs used in this post were taken by Bettie Maves Photography.

Any readers of this blog want to weigh in on building utility-efficient or energy-efficient homes?

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