Kolbert Building and Renovations Builder

Near Merezero Entrance | Net Zero Home

Near Merezero | Net Zero Home Interior

Near Merezero Deep Energy Retrofit | Original House

Near Merezero Deep Energy Retrofit | Original House

Images © Jamie Salomon Photography & Kaplan Thompson

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Built in the 1970s, the existing house had an unusual & eclectic character that the current owners loved, including a wide variety of recycled doors, windows, interior finishes, and an exposed post & beam barn structure. Despite the perfect south-facing orientation, however, the existing house provided low thermal comfort and high utility bills. The interior was gloomy and cut off from the surrounding garden and fields of the 10-acre property. The basement was awash with water and silt after every heavy rain. A beautiful private pond was virtually invisible from most living and bedroom spaces. A separate guest house/ studio, built in the 1990s, far from the main house, greatly disrupted natural ground water flows across much of the site.


The clients sought a deep energy retrofit to drastically reduce energy needs, with Net Zero as the goal. New windows and dormers greatly improve the relationship of the house to the south and the stunning view of the private pond. New doors and porches open the house to a variety of exterior spaces. The new design reduce space needs and combines functions to reduce the overall building footprint. The existing guest house/studio building and driveway were relocated to improve ground water flows.

View a video flyover of this project to see the exterior from every angle by going to http://vimeo.com/107428163.

Renewable Materials

The existing house and guest/studio structures were retained and other existing materials were reused. FSC certified wood was also used throughout the home.

Sustainable Landscape

Materials were sourced locally and native Maine plant species were used. A new bio-swale filters and controls storm water run-off into the stream. Natural ground water patterns reinstated.

Energy Efficient

The super insulated exterior shell has minimum R-40 walls, R-60 roof, R-9 windows & R5.8 doors. Extremely air tight construction enables primary space heating to be provided by low-energy heat pumps. HRV heat recovery air exchangers allow fresh air to flow through the home all year long.

Renewable Power

7kw roof-top PV panels provide the primary power supply, while supplemental heat is provided from a wood-fired stove. Roof-top evacuated solar tubes provide domestic hot water heating. Extensive use of LED lighting is expected to reduce the lighting load to about 1/3 of a conventional system.