Energy Efficient Home on Original Colonial Footprint

This newly constructed home had a small original footprint that may have dated back to the late 1700s or early 1800s (it is difficult to accurately date the original structure because of numerous renovations). The reimagining of this home was done by Clark + Green Architecture and interior designer Jess Cooney. The new design honors some of its original elements, including exposed wood beams, plaster walls, and a large fireplace, while incorporating contemporary design (wider stair case and higher ceilings, for example) and green building practices. The designer and clients wanted to keep some of the original design elements, but do away with the drafty and cold  feel of an old New England home. In order to achieve this, we used several energy design elements of Zero Net Energy home construction. The end result is a supremely comfortable living environment that has the added benefit of a reduced carbon footprint.


First Winter for Net Zero Home

The net zero home is largely complete. The only work left to be done is on the outdoor patio. We began gathering data on energy performance in September, and though it is too early to draw solid conclusions, the early numbers are on target for this 3,000 sqft home. As winter has set in, the interior temperature is holding around 70 degrees. From the air, to the walls, to the floors, the entire structure is designed to hold heat equally—even the poured cement floors are comfortable to walk on barefoot this time of year. This is achieved mostly through the strategic use of insulation in the wall, roof, and floors, and good air sealing techniques done prior to the insulation phase. The heat pump/forced hot air system is powered by solar electric when the solar panels are producing electricity and delivered by mini-splits located in most rooms throughout the house.

We also wanted to share some details on the deck we built. Not only is the view amazing, the material used to construct the deck is somewhat remarkable as well. In keeping with the ethos of this project, and our own commitment to sustainability, we used Thermory® decking, which is an alternative to pressure treated or tropical hardwood lumber. It is sourced from sustainably managed US forest and undergoes thermal, rather than chemical, modification for durability. Thermory® decking is also designed to reduce waste through engineered “Joint End Matched Joints” that span the decking  joists. Basically, we utilized almost every inch of decking during the construction with very little wasted material. Other areas of decking were constructed using reclaimed wood from the owner’s previous home. 

Making Progress: Sunroom, Garage, and Wood Shop

This hybrid stick frame/post and beam addition is well underway now. The post and beam frame is complete and features a tongue-in-groove cathedral ceiling with S.I.P.S. panel and cold roof construction. The images of the roof show the strapping, which allows for venting to regulate temperature differentials and prevent moisture damage to the shingles. Sheathing is up a large portion of the entire structure. The stick frame garage and sun room have a hot roof construction which utilizes closed-cell foam to insulate the roof from temperature differentials. The garage floor is also underway, the various phases of construction visible at the time of these photos. 

Finished: Screen Porch Addition

This screen porch addition was designed to coordinate with the exterior of the built-in-the-1800s home, and it was inspired by a rustic screened-gazebo structure that was once on the property.  The new screen porch commemorates some of the rustic elements from the original structure while also providing a comfortable, clean, and contemporary hang-out space. To view more pictures of this screen porch and other projects, visit our portfolio page.  

Additionally, we want to give credit to Red House Design who teamed up with us for this project. Visit their website to view more of their design and architecture work at

Putting finishing touches on net zero home.

The siding on this home features mitered corners and metal breaks (the recessed areas). These are techniques that added complexity and time to the process, but well worth the unique visual result. The main entry canopy is constructed with stainless steel brackets and rods, which adds another distinctive feature to exterior of the home.