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NET ZERO HOUSE ON THE RIVER l Moretown, Vermont
Project received the 2010 Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture presented by the Vermont Chapter of the AIA
This Net Zero home notched into a cliff overlooking the Mad River achieves its energy objectives through superior insulation, photovoltaics, ground source heat pump and an extensive green roof. These on-site technologies, in addition to exceptional energy conservation, allow this Net Zero Energy Building to meet all of its heating, cooling and electricity needs.
The landscape and house, which appears to have sprouted from its rocky environment, express the property’s history as an old farm. Weathered schist stones, once piled in rows by the farmer, were harvested and reused inside the house in the hand-crafted fireplace as well as in the outside façade. The same stone forms the retaining walls that support the tiered terraces and steps that wind down the steep bank to the river below.
The home’s extensive green roof is inspiring and invites visitors – some of them teachers and students -- to wander along its stepping stone paths through drifts of beautiful sedums and native grasses. The roof protects the river from pollutants by absorbing most of the stormwater runoff and redirecting excess water to irrigate the troughed gardens at the roof drip-line.