This incredible home designed by Gardner Mohr Architects is situated near Annapolis, Maryland and began with an unremarkable 1980s brick rambler on a spectacular site overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. The clients had two goals: to create views of the Bay from as many rooms as possible, and to build the most “green” house the budget would bear. The project has achieved LEED Gold certification. Dramatic views are featured from every room except the foyer and secondary baths were achieved with an open floor plan, large windows and a 2-story living room over which loft rooms have a view the Bay.
The owner’s sustainability goals were met by using passive as well as active strategies. Passive strategies include ventilation, daylighting and shading controls. Water conservation and harvesting are achieved through low-flow fixture selection, collection and reuse of rainwater, the infiltration of 100% of the storm water on site, and the construction of a “living shoreline” for breeding of aquatic life. Materials were chosen for a minimal impact on the environment.
Geothermal heat pumps provide cooling, radiant floor heating and domestic hot water. A high-performance building envelope consists of an R-55 roof with a white membrane, R-36 vented rain screen walls and triple low-e coated window glass. Energy Star appliances and lighting further help to reduce energy consumption, and a photovoltaic solar power plant provides electricity which can be consumed on site or “sold” back to the grid.
Photos: Cheryl Mohr
This contemporary Montecito, California home has been designed by Maienza-Wilson Interior Design + Architecture, as a custom luxury and sustainable home that is LEED Platinum certified. The home has two floor-to-ceiling glass walls that noiselessly retract, fully opening the southwest corner of the space to the cool ocean breezes and magnificent views. Sustainable features includes radiant floor heating, icynene spray foam for insulation and a 5,000-gallon cistern located underneath the building to store rainwater to irrigate the low-water-demand garden that has been designed to complement the Zen-like feeling of the home. Flat rooftops have been planted with drought-resistant grasses to provide passive cooling. Photovoltaic solar panels are hidden from view on the butterfly roof, providing enough electricity to operate the entire home. The building and spaces have been oriented to take advantage of the natural sunlight so lights do not even have to be turned on during the day. Besides all of the green features, this home also offers spa bathrooms, wine cellar and an outdoor seating area surrounding a Zen-like fire pit.
The state-of-the-art kitchen plays an integral role in the open plan living room and dining area; retractable floor-to-ceiling glass walls extend the living room into the outdoors.
Under the floating staircase in the entryway, oversize recycled plywood “pebble” seats invite guests to sit down and remove their shoes, which reduces the amount of contaminants that are tracked throughout the house.
The pool house, clad in sustainably harvested ipe wood, provides a warm contrast to the luminous pool; floating steps line the edge of the spa.
Urban Green is a modern single family residence that has been designed by SALA Architects in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This LEED for Homes, 2,250 square foot, three bedroom house with detached garage is nestled into a 42-foot by 128-foot infill lot in the Linden Hills neighborhood. It features an eclectic blend of traditional and contemporary elements that weave it into the existing neighborhood fabric while at the same time addressing the client’s desire for a more modern plan and sustainable living.
Passive solar heating and daylighting, natural ventilation due to the narrow building profile and open plan, high-efficiency appliances, high-efficiency dual-stage furnace, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets, bamboo floors, composite fiber-cement siding, shell durability walk-through, blower door-performance testing.
Photos: Troy Thies
2381 Lucky John Residence was designed by The Jaffa Group in Park City, Utah. From day one owner/architect Scott Jaffa wanted to design an innovative energy conscious home that looked toward integrated design and energy solutions. This LEED-certified 5,300 square foot, four bedroom and four-and-a-half bathroom home is truly a mountain contemporary residence blending modern architectural elements with finishes from the surrounding environment. This home is not only tasteful but more importantly, thoughtfully designed with no amenity or ounce of finish work overlooked.
The flat 1.25-acre lot allows for a private front entry court that creates a sense of arrival while the rear courtyard is perfect for private entertaining. This outdoor entertainment area contains a firepit and enormous yard. The exterior hardscaping and landscaping is also an integral part of the overall design. The great room and kitchen are overwhelmingly comfortable and light, which inspire a true sense of “home” — a place to enjoy quality family time or host thoughtful celebrations, with a window wall that brings the outdoors in.
Not only is this home a completely fresh approach to contemporary architecture in Park City, but also strives to be “green.” It uses maintenance-free exterior finishes and self-sufficient utilities. Two solar panel systems were installed to capitalize on the nearly 360 days of sun that Park City receives annually. The first set of panels provides hot water to heat the floors and provide all of the home’s domestic hot water. The second system is 6-kilowatt photo-voltaic array, which brings in enough electricity to power 300, 100-watt light bulbs everyday.
The home has been thoroughly insulated to assist in regulating the homes temperature against the drastic temperature swings of the mountain climate. Insulation was blown into all interior and exterior walls. One and a half inches of rigid foam insulation was attached to the exterior walls with an additional four inches of rigid foam on the roof. A unique drainage plane behind all exterior materials is used to control exterior moisture. Finally, triple-glazed windows, horizontal roofs and steel sunshades offer further protection for the home.
Photos: Courtesy of The Jaffa Group
This contemporary and sustainable LEED Platinum family show home called ‘Green Cube’ is located in downtown Denver, Colorado. The remodeled home was designed by RE.DZINE, showcasing strong architectural forms, a stunning glass staircase, recyclable 3D wall panels in the loft (from Inhabit®) a wonderful living wall feature dividing living and dining area.
Photos: Jenifer Koskinen- Merritt Design Photo
This mid-century era residence has been built with great flow and well-proportioned volumes in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Designed by Carver + Schicketanz, the project called for the need of an extra bedroom as well as a new kitchen and bathrooms. In addition, the goal of the architects was to modernize the outdated house technology resulting in a highly efficient home with supplemental photovoltaic power generation. The architects completed the first LEED-certified home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, reaching the highest level: Platinum.