Efficient, economical and just the right size. This home, based on the Arts and Crafts style of the Birdcliff cottages in Woodstock, was designed for a local builder. It is a simple rectangle with economical plywood board-and-batten siding, has two bedrooms and a (multi-use room), and is only 1400 sq.ft. A well thought out open plan makes this a good example of the less-is-more movement in home design. Last year was the first time in 75 years that the average home built in our country decreased in size. Home buyers are understanding that quality is more important than additional square footage. Within the current economic crunch and tight-money environment, it is possible to build a great house if careful design decisions are made. Energy efficiency is one benefit of the small house. Combine this with 21st century insulation and appropriate (shell tightening) and your life in this home would be sustainable for years to come.
Catskill Mountain Views And Energy Efficient Design
Beautiful Catskill mountain views from an energy-efficient house design thoughtfully built on a smart site plan.
The design of this home for Jim Graf grew from the spectacular vistas. The dining/kitchen and the living room on the first floor, and two bedrooms and a playroom upstairs all take advantage of the north oriented views.
Less prominent rooms, bathrooms, utility rooms and circulation are located to the south in the plan. The rectangular plan is simple to build while the Craftsman style details make this an attractive home. Jim built this home for himself and the quality is second to none. Glass on the north side of a building receives almost no solar gain and therefore looses more heat annually than south-facing glass which has an annual heat gain.
Its size is so carefully chosen to balance between heat loss and appreciation of the views.
It is especially critical to appropriately (shell-tighten) homes exposed to the higher winds of mountain settings since infiltration of cold air increases as the average wind increases. The sloped ceilings and dormers of second floors can create serious infiltration problems and it takes expertise to contain energy losses, maintaining comfort and insure against condensation and moisture.