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A sustainable modern house in the dunes

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Modern houses by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
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The homeowners who commissioned this project were faced with a complex set of circumstances: they wanted to construct a beach home on Cape Cod, but the environmentally sensitive nature and unusually narrow shape of the site required the architects from Zeroenergy Design to carefully consider the building from an ecological point of view, in addition to creating a modern building with a custom shape and size to fit the oddly-shaped lot. 

The result is a sustainable, solar-powered home with magnificent views of the ocean – a refreshing space where the entire extended family can gather during the summer and over the holidays. The home's design is unique in that it has been strategically built to accommodate various states of living (extended summer occupancy, short weekend getaways, large family gatherings) as well as a highly varied number of occupants. In their design, the architects have created two main areas, designated as the Living Bar and the Sleeping Bar with separate functions: the Sleeping Bar which houses the guest bedrooms and bathrooms is able to be shut down during the majority of the year when it's unoccupied, saving energy as the couple finds all that they need in the Living Bar of the home. When the children aren't visiting, the couple who commissioned the home is able to spend their weekends relaxing in their beach house in the dunes, enjoying both the natural, sunlit interior as well as the generous wooden sun deck and panoramic views.

​The view

Modern beach house in the dunes Modern houses by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
ZeroEnergy Design

Modern beach house in the dunes

ZeroEnergy Design

The site has a spectacular West-facing view of the water and glowing Cape Cod sunset. However, a West-facing array of glazed windows isn't ideal in terms of a home's energy performance, and so to offset the West-facing orientation, the architects have used super insulation in the rest of the building envelope to ensure energy efficiency. The home uses a geothermal system for heat in addition to a radiant heating system, which together supplies all of the energy needed for heating and cooling throughout the year.

​Solar energy system

Solar electric system Modern houses by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
ZeroEnergy Design

Solar electric system

ZeroEnergy Design

The roof of the home supports a large solar array, which offsets the home's energy use through net metering. The solar system makes use of a battery back-up, and an energy management system stores excess electricity for use during low power production or blackouts; the home therefore has no need for a gas-powered generator.

​Refreshing interior

Modern kitchen Modern kitchen by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
ZeroEnergy Design

Modern kitchen

ZeroEnergy Design

Throughout the home, emphasis has been placed on health and wellbeing. The natural materials and neutral colour scheme contribute to a peaceful and rejuvenating setting, but the sense of wellbeing goes beyond aesthetics: the floors of the home are free of carpeting that can capture dust, mold, and moisture. In addition, renewable bamboo floors cover a large portion of the home, bound with nontoxic glues. Within the walls, formaldehyde-free layer provides nontoxic insulation, while an air exchange and energy recovery system provide clean, fresh air for a healthy interior atmosphere.

​View from the living room

Vaulted modern living room Modern living room by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
ZeroEnergy Design

Vaulted modern living room

ZeroEnergy Design

The living room has been designed for maximum appreciation of the home's location overlooking the ocean. It is from this room that the entire family can enjoy the beautiful seaside views.

​Energy-wise vacation

Modern beach house exterior Modern houses by ZeroEnergy Design Modern
ZeroEnergy Design

Modern beach house exterior

ZeroEnergy Design

A view of this modern beach home at night shows just how stunning an energy-efficient and eco-friendly home can be! This structure appears to burst with energy, with smooth, natural surfaces reflecting the generous amount of light created from solar power. This view also shows a clear distinction between the Living Bar on the right and the Sleeping Bar on the left, which can be shut down during the majority of the year when it's left unoccupied.

For more green living inspiration, tour this minimalist forest home.

Share your thoughts on this eco-friendly beach house below!
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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