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This existing structure with a hilltop lake view stood vacant for over 50 years after a devastating fire gutted the home and made it unusable. The new owners saw a great deal of potential in the shell with its rustic and appealing fieldstone facades. Their desire was to use these remains to construct a green and sustainable year-round residence.

The surviving walls are in relatively good shape and are to be focal point of the reconstruction. The process started with a careful study of what remained and with the creation of a detailed set of measured existing drawings. From this, the design process investigated how to incorporate what was there into a composition that the owners desired.

The design process was rigorous and many concepts and ideas were investigated before arriving at the final scheme. The drawings and details for the proposed construction were very unique since the blending of the new and the existing forms and materials was a complicated process.

The client’s program investigated a number of green and sustainable features. These ideas were considered and evaluated at different stages during the design development process. They included the reuse of existing in-place building materials such as stone walls and concrete slabs, the harvesting of local stone on-site for construction of the inset stone details in the new stucco, the use of various recycled building materials including fixtures, fittings, and reclaimed insulation. They also included designing to reduce construction waste through an efficient layout of new structural elements, careful consideration of daylighting and bringing light deep into the interior spaces. Also, solar collectors are to be provided for a future radiant floor heating system throughout, low-flow plumbing fixtures for lower water usage and wastewater generation are to be installed, and rainwater collection from roof surfaces for site irrigation and maintenance. The selection of Energy Star appliances and hvac will reduce the overall energy consumption.

Though this home is not attempting to receive a LEED rating, the concepts employed throughout are indicative of what can be done to all buildings to try and be more sensitive to the environment and to work with the existing in-place elements.