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Swannanoa Grove

Swannanoa Grove

Location: Sovereign Oaks, NC
Type: New Construction

Our clients approached us to design a net-zero home near Asheville, North Carolina after their net-zero house on Sanibel Island withstood the brunt of Hurricane Ian in 2022. This new mountain home is to serve as the multi-generational gathering place for their family.

The design solution began with responding to the land to meet our client’s priorities of outdoor living, privacy, and views into a protected forest. The entry side faces Southwest and has minimal windows and a long front porch that provides later afternoon shade. The downhill view side faces Northeast and is two stories with a tall window-wall for private views toward the forest where solar heat gain is less of an issue. A sixteen foot wide accordion door connects the kitchen and dining to a large screened porch and the outdoors beyond.

Our technical design for net-zero energy started with the wall and roof assemblies. The house has a structural insulated panel (SIP) roof system with twice the insulation value that is required by code. In addition, continuous exterior wall insulation eliminates thermal bridging and provides increased energy efficiency. The home is heated and cooled by a geothermal heat pump and has all-electric appliances, including an electric fireplace and induction cooktop. An array of rooftop photovoltaic panels brings the house to net-zero and powers a battery system for resilience during extreme weather. These systems allow for an all electric home, eliminating the need for any onsite fossil fuels.

Preliminary Site Plan and Elevation sketches.

This design approach creates a high performance home that is beautiful and connected to its landscape. The home will be resilient from climate change and a safe haven that can serve their family for generations to come.