I'm guest blogging today on Bouler Design while Nadine is in the Gulf viewing the devastating effects of the oil-spill first hand. Her daughter Olivia has been walking the walk since April when a broken oil pipe allowed thousands of gallons of oil a day to gush into the sea, threatening the fragile eco-system. But Bouler Architecture has put sustainable building at the core of its philosophy since they started business. The zero-energy house at Oak Beach on Long Island is a great example how we can build smarter, not just to reduce our use of fossil fuels but to actually produce more energy than we consume.
For the architect, James Bouler and his client Jill Korman, efficient design was key. They sought to maximize the potential of the site for solar power by demolishing 50% of an existing structure and rebuilding using a geothermal pump, photovoltaic solar panels, an EDPM white roof, energy performance rated windows and Icynene insulation. The house has been finished for a year and has exceeded all expectations, producing more energy than it used and earning it the highest energy-rating on Long Island.
Jill's brief to the architect was simple: build me a comfortable house that is considerate of the planet using as few resources as possible - and Bouler Architecture delivered this functional and aesthetically pleasing design.
10 kw solar panels capture the strong South Shore sun; even in winter the house is energy efficient.
Careful placement of the roof lines and windows allows for passive solar heating and cooling, blocking the summer sun but allowing the sun's rays to heat the poured concrete floors.
Before the geothermal pump was hooked up and the radiant heating started this still kept the house a comfortable 60F in winter.
The angle of the windows in the barrel roof shades the sun, while the clerestory windows on the north side allow for ambient light
Salvaged and reclaimed wood from the original beach cottage was reused throughout the house - either decoratively as in this stair post, for framing the new house or as scrap lumber.
The Oak Beach house is a model for the implementation of green technology and great sustainable design, an irrefutable argument for environmentally-responsible building - modernemama