Peacock Builders

Images © Brian Vanden Brink

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Context

A secluded perch on the site of a former granite quarry in East Blue Hill offers stunning views of the Blue Hill Peninsula. After camping on the property for almost 10 years, and learning the intricacies of its deeply wooded areas and rocky bluffs, the owners were ready to build their home on a quiet spot with a natural view path through trees to the water and islands beyond. They were looking for a house that touched the site respectfully, that was comfortable, durable and produced more energy than it consumed.

Response

A long gravel driveway delivers guests to a dramatic view of the bay ahead and then gently encourages them up a circular path to a garage set behind and uphill from the house. A covered post and beam connector connects the garage to the entry at the north side of the house. The single-story house floats on piers along the ledge-laden outcroppings located sporadically on the site, allowing each room its own unique view of the bay and letting the site's natural drainage patterns remain. Two distinct bedroom suites are staggered and broken by the primary living space, extruded and rotated to face directly south in order to maximize solar gain and afford dynamic views deep into Blue Hill Bay. This main space expands into a cathedral ceiling with exposed collar ties, surfaces and millwork composed of locally milled fir boards. Deep overhangs on the continuous roof provide an intimate scale for the building and block the high summer sun while allowing the lower winter sun to penetrate deep into each room.

Renewable Materials

Many of the materials used in this house are made from recycled content, are environmentally friendly or come from local sources. Low toxicity was demanded of all materials, adhesives and sealants in this air-tight home.

Sustainable Landscape

The house is sited to minimize impact on the land and preserve as much existing ledge as possible.

Energy Efficient

12" thick double stud walls, high-performance, triple-glazed windows an insulated 14" floor cavity and a fully insulated 16"+ roof cavity provide a continuous R-40 to R-75 thermal envelope around the entire house. As modeled by Passive House software, this house will need no more than a few small runs of electric resistance baseboard to heat it, even on the coldest days of winter. The house is designed to achieve net zero energy consumption.

Renewable Power

A 6 kw solar PV array offsets the electricity demand and a solar thermal hot water system provides all hot water to the house.