A small home prototype
Periodically we develop prototype green home plans of various kinds. This one we call ZigZag House2. It's name comes from its simple floor plan with zigzagging small volumes at the entry, and at a built-in seating alcove area. It's designed to be net zero ready, simply conceived, and easy to maintain. A small home with livable spaces for a couple with a small family, empty nesters seeking to simplify, with interior and exterior spaces for daily living and entertainment of friends and family. There's room to future additions and changes suiting your evolving life stages.
Comfort and efficiency
Designed for high energy efficiency, comfort and performance, this small home design can be further tailored to your budget, objectives, aesthetics, and project delivery approach. If you're curious about the specifics of the exterior building enclosure, insulation levels, types of windows, building systems for heating and cooling to further maximize performance and value for you, it's certainly worth a conversation. The design can be tailored to fit your specific climatic region and localized conditions.
Shown here as a 1,000 sq. ft. house and 700 sq. ft. garage on a relatively flat site, the overall building and its site features can be adjusted to your own site, your budget and living needs. Consider what you see here as a " beginning take" in a yet to happen collaboration between us. Here we conceive an ideal relationship between building and land, aesthetics and function. But it takes your insight, wants and dreams to make this home design idea come alive. Also, note you have options to build only the house, the house and garage / studio space or perhaps conceive of the garage space as an open carport someday you will build out.
Exterior enclosure design
For the building construction features, we propose a cold climate responsive solution with minimally R40 walls, R60 roof, R20 foundation and R10 for insulation levels along with a mix of clear and low-e argon filled triple insulated fiberglass windows for comfort and performance. Double stud walls with filled with dense pack cellulose with up to 2" of rigid foam outsulation could make up the wall with a drainage screen behind. Exterior finishes shown here range from cedar shakes to cement board or cedar siding, some steel columns near the entry, Ipe or Trex decking for recyclability, painted wood trim around doors and windows.
We propose a fully vented cathedral style roof helping creating a sense of openness with loose packed cellulose insulation and rubber (EPDM) roofing due to the low roof slope. A light EPDM color is chosen to reduce the heat island impacts from the sun glancing off of the roofing, helping further mitigate global warming impacts. Also the roofing would be mechanically fastened rather than glued down (also known as fully adhered) to allow for ease of future replacement and upcycling 20 to 30 years into the future. The lower roof at the entry could even be designed to take a green roof.
Long term resilience and off grid living
Rooftop solar panels could be installed on top of the garage roof providing ample renewable power for the home and garage. To increase resilience from power outages, weathering increasingly intense weather events, one or two Tesla Power Wall battery storage units could be installed and located in the garage. Having battery backup electricity would help keep the home powered up for two or so days, and when combined with a super insulated building enclosure would really reduce exposure to storm risks.
Off grid living would also become more easily possible with such batteries where they get charged during the day, with minimal power usage due to great interior daylighting, and minimal power needs due to insulation levels resulting in relatively small sized internal heating and cooling systems. During the evening electric vehicle charging could take place or at least be available with power to spare to provide electricity for appliances, heated water, electronics and more.
The interior environment
We show simple, health focused interior finishes and interior lighting to meet your design and budget objectives. To enhance indoor air quality we propose using easy to clean, durable flooring finishes such as polished concrete, stone or porcelin tile, and sustainable wood flooring. Area rugs can be used selectively at high use living spaces such as the dining table, and seating group in the living area. We show light colored wood trim for wood base, doors and windows which could be in Birch, Maple, Ash or some other species. Base wall finishes include potentially low or no-VOC paint. However, focus areas could be further enhanced with hand plastered or tiled areas.
We place elegant modern inspired furniture with clean lines and simple but durable materials to model possibilities of the space to be elaborated by the homeowner. Along with furniture selection and sourcing, we would be happy to collaborate together on the specifics of your kitchen and bath design carrying on design elements from common areas or other themes.
We bring the angled Zig volume into the interior of the seating area showing interconnectedness of the interior and exterior with great views and ample daylight. A built in ledge could have upholstered cushions which support curling up with a good book in the window or great conversations with others sitting in nearby furniture. Attractive window coverings could be installed on the interior to reduce unwanted glare or special glazing could be specified to help as well. Exterior planting of deciduous trees nearby could also help reduce glare with mature of the tree canopy, yet in the wintertime when the leaves fall off, bring in bright daylight to cheer up days when there is no sun.
Connect with us
Located in Vermont? If so we can help guide you to talented talented realtors, builders, artisans, and makers. We can also connect you with Efficiency Vermont and work together with you on the path to Energy Star certification or higher performance levels verified by other third party performance verification systems like Passive House, or LEED for Homes.
Remember, this prototype design serves merely as a departure point for more detailed conversations and design work centered on realizing your dreams, lifestyle aspirations, budget, schedule and desired delivery approach. We thrive on the creative collaboration process with you, the builder and other subcontractors working together to realize your home design.
Whether you live locally or not, we can easily work together virtually and or in person. If you'd like to learn more about how to adapt ZigZag House 2 or other design ideas you have, feel free to contact us below for a free initial consultation. Tell us a little about your self, if you have property, what's your timeframe, if you have a budget for construction and what it might be, family composition, life stage, and any major goals for your project.
Check back soon for more prototype house designs!