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Medomak River House

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1777 Friendship Road



Robert Butler


  • Structural Engineer: Becker Structural Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Mohr & Seredin

Project Status


Year Completed



4,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description

Though traditional in appearance, this new three-bedroom home incorporates building techniques for the 21st century. The house is sited so that the south elevation is facing "solar south". This will maximize the amount of sun available for space heating and solar generated electricity. The house is exceptionally energy efficient in terms of the building shell, the appliances, and light fixtures. The goal is a net-zero design that provides enough on-site energy to satisfy demand. On an annual basis, the photovoltaic panels on the roof will provide the energy necessary to heat and power the home. This is accomplished with net metering. Surplus electricity that is generated in the summer months is "banked" or sold back to the electric company and this surplus is subsequently drawn down in the winter months. The solar panels are located on the adjacent barn roof.
The building shell is built of two 2 x 4 stud walls separated from each other by 5 inches. This provides a 12" deep cavity that is filled with dense pack cellulose (R-42). The roof joists are 14" deep and are filled with dense pack cellulose and covered on the interior with 2 inches of extruded polystyrene (R-59). The windows are triple-glazed on the north face.
The house is heated and air-conditioned with an air source heat pump. It works on the same principal as a refrigerator: it removes heat from the house in the summertime and works in reverse in the wintertime: it extracts heat from the outside air and uses it to heat the house.
Exterior materials are white cedar shingles, fiberglass and aluminum-clad wood windows, cypress trim, and a painted standing seam metal roof.
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