Energy efficiency has become an essential component of home design in the last decade, with eco-conscious owners opting for smarter, greener homes. There is definitely a good reason why you should also embrace the trend, irrespective of whether you wish to get behind the ‘green cause’. Apart from doing plenty of good for the planet, these zero-energy structures also cut down on your power bill and put your home budget in green over the long term. Epitomizing this trend is the Cousins River Residence in Freeport, Maine with its 4.6 KW photovoltaic panels and highly insulated structure.
Designed by GO Logic, passive solar gain was one of the main aspects of the structural design, and this was done without impeding the flow of natural light throughout the residence. Offering unabated views of the Cousins River estuary and the pin forest around it, a covered walkway links the main house with the garage. On the inside, an open-plan living area filled with a fabulous bookshelf featuring translucent glass doors, and a relaxing daybed in Baltic birch steal the spotlight. Custom wooden shelves coupled with the concrete flooring provide textural variance, even as one room flows into the next.
A series of features like the super insulated foundation and concrete flooring, the smart triple-pane German windows, a cutting-edge heat recovery system that functions at 88% efficiency, and of course, the solar panels that provide the home with sufficient power combine to deliver an effectively zero-energy home that still seems cozy, modern and charming. [Photography: Trent Bell]