Sustainable Houses

Architect Proves Sustainable Houses Can Be Attractive and Comfortable

Owner-architect Philip A. Smith has managed to fit his sustainable house with lots of green technology, but at the same time give a human touch and making it easy on the eye.

Although it’s still under construction, the modern home located in Hingham, Massachusetts, has already been featured on the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Green Building Open House tour. And for good reason, because this contemporary eco-friendly home already features plenty of green technology to inspire people to give sustainability a chance.  From the ZIP System structural wall panels to the state of the art wireless Lutron RadioRA lighting control system operable through an iPhone app, Philip A. Smith architectural masterpiece is undoubtedly any green geek’s dream home, but also has an attractive design and cozy feel. “In order for architecture to be sustainable it needs to have a strong human element, a high quality for human life,” Smith says. “If it doesn’t, people will change it and it won’t be sustainable. … It could be the most sustainable building there is, but if it’s an ugly home who cares?” He does make a good point there.

The Smiths built a fine-looking house, but it’s only after you learn what materials they used  and the green technology they’ve implemented that you really start to feel impressed. To build their dream home the couple used local and recycled materials and nontoxic products, and added a whole bunch of eco-solutions to help them achieve the greenest lifestyle possible. The home’s butterfly roof is one of its most important features, providing a platform for photovoltaic and solar thermal panels. also allows for rainwater recycling directed by a second gable unseen from street level, which directs water three ways. One path is into a rain barrel, the other two lead to a cistern feeding a drip-irrigation system.The house is pre-piped for solar thermal, it’s air-tight and very well insulated, features  a graywater recycling system from showers to double-flush toilets, and has triple-paned Fibertec fiberglass windows ands doors with a U value of .14. The large number of windows will act as a passive solar component to the house. Trellis eyebrows on the upper-level windows shade summer sun, while allowing the lower-angled winter sun to warm the great room as air is circulated by two large ceiling fans in the living area’s vaulted ceiling.

When construction is completed, Philip A. Smith’s modern sustainable house will include Energy Star appliances, heat recovery ventilation, radiant floor heating, daylighting and super-insulated walls.

via Green Tech Advocates



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