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The scope of the project was to create a new second floor area above part of the existing home that would make a new master bedroom suite, and bedroom area separate from the first floor. The existing bedroom area on the first floor was to remain unchanged, but the existing living room, kitchen, family room, and garage were to be significantly altered. Also, the client wanted to incorporate a new solar water heating system that would heat the home with a system of radiant floors. A number of layouts were designed to create the spaces needed, design the elevations and finishes, and to incorporate the elements of the solar heating system.

The existing living room was converted into a large formal dining room, which the original floor plan layout lacked. The kitchen was expanded with a large pantry and laundry room to create much more kitchen storage space and to move the laundry out of the basement to a more convenient location. The existing leaking glass sunroom structure was removed and the adjacent small family room expanded into the area of the sunroom and the garage to provide the space necessary for a space that will be well suited for entertaining. A new deep garage was also added for vehicle and outdoor storage. All of the additions were tailor fit to the tight site to eliminate the need for any zoning approvals.

The upper floor plan consists of a large master bedroom suite with multiple walk-in-closets and a large master bathroom. There is also a child’s bedroom, guest bedroom, and common bathroom upstairs. The first floor and second floor are connected by a decorative stair that hovers between the floors in a two-story space in front of a large two-story tall picture window.

There were a number of unique design considerations for the home. One of the most challenging was the existing first floor which consisted of multiple floor levels that relate to the sloping grade on the exterior of the home. Floors were designed to align with the existing areas where applicable and stepped as necessary to connect to other areas. Also, the design of the addition required a unique and detailed structural layout to allow for the new large rooms and the open floor plan. The system transfers the large loads to key points to minimize the impact to the existing home, and to take advantage of the strength in the new areas of construction.

By adjusting the floor plan and elevations during the design process, the layout and engineering of the solar hot water heating system was able to be sized to meet the needs of the home winter heating. The large collector on the roof heats water and sends it into a storage tank which then feeds the multiple radiant heating zones in the floor. The system is new technology which has not been extensively used in the northeast. Through the vision of the owner, and the coordination on the building design, this home will be a case study for the implementation of viable solar heating in the northeast.