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Monday, July 23, 2018
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RI Archives: Style

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The High-Performance House, Part 8: Almost There

Rona Easton and Lonn Combs of EASTON+COMBS, the award-winning architectural office based in New Marlborough, Mass. have allowed Rural Intelligence to look over their shoulders (and those of their client) throughout the construction process of a high-performance home going up right now. This is the eighth installment in a series that is giving us a lens into the building of an energy efficient house in Egremont, Mass.

View from the north

To recap: Last fall we broke ground on a house commissioned by a homeowner who requested a “house that would not use fossil fuels, and would be resilient in a variety of scenarios.” We’ve shared our process with Rural Intelligence readers throughout the year and now, finally, the house is nearing completion, both on the exterior and interior. The exterior metal is almost completely installed, and the bridge between the two buildings is in fabrication, to be delivered and installed within the next month.

View of the south.

View of the west facade.

The west facade.


The entrance canopy, waiting for the deck that will soon be installed.

The entrance canopies, fabricated by digifabshop in Hudson look fantastic. Our design priority was to provide shelter at the entrance doors, and to do it with subtlety, which we achieved by a straightforward design attached to the house wall. We kept it in metal, painted to match the building finish.

Light floods the house.

We continue to see and wonder at the full effect of the skylights and large windows, which flood the interior with sun and light all day. It’s hard to imagine that lighting would ever be used before dark. These hot days give us our first taste of the environmental impact of the high-performing building envelope. The house is cool and comfortable — without any air conditioning; it’s quite a shock when you step outside to the heat.

The skylight in the master bathroom, an interior space with no window, brings warmth to the space not possible with artificial light. The sky is visible from the shower, and you never lose your connection to the outside.


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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/12/17 at 11:51 AM • Permalink