Black Bros. Builders Builder

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Plus Sapins | Kaplan Thompson Architects

Images © James R. Salomon Photography

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Context

Two sisters separated by over 1000 miles wanted to create a place to bring their families together on a piece of land deeded to them by their parents in Harpswell, Maine. The home was to have two separate master suites and plenty of space for kids and friends, and as close to the water as they could get.

Response

A 2400 square foot home spreads along a narrow gap on a sloping site, maximizing every room's connection to the water. The two families are connected visually, but spaces for different uses are spread apart, terminating in the most occupied spot - the oversized screen porch, which is connected to the kitchen by a large, hydraulic, high-performance awning window at the pass-through bar. Only 2 roof planes cover the house for simplicity and durability, with the primary slope facing south to house up to 16kW of future solar. The "stairway to heaven" flows all the way up to the top floor, which floats just above the trees, and provides a great getaway loft for the kids.

Renewable Materials

All materials that have been used throughout are low- or no-VOC. The Eastern white cedar shingles used on the exterior of the home are locally grown and sourced. The result is a durable, naturally rot-resistant siding material.

Water Conservation

All fixtures are low-flow and low-volume.

Budget / Economy

The house was constructed for about $200/sf.

Sustainable Landscape

This project cleverly uses all excavated and blasted rocks on site and reduces the amount of water-thirsty, maintenance-requiring grass to almost nil.

Energy Efficient

This building is capable of achieving net zero energy, including a super-insulated, extremely airtight shell and high-performance, triple-glazed ventilating windows.
The house incorporates heat pump technology in the heating and cooling, and requires no furnace. It is also designed to maximize the use of natural light to save energy, requiring very little use of electrical lighting throughout the day.

Renewable Power

The house is prepared to provide all of its own energy on site, when eventually occupied full-time with room for up to 16 kW of PV.