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Stonington Passive House

This 1,850 SF single-story house replaced an old cottage next to a tidal salt marsh. The new structure is built to withstand the elements while also opening up to expansive views of the surrounding marshland. Furthermore, the building preserves a New England aesthetic, with a pitched roofs and references to its New England neighbors, despite being a Passive House.

The best views of the marsh are to the east, which made window placement tricky. Large expanses of east-facing glass are not optimal, but that’s where the views are. East- and west-facing windows and limited south-facing glazing were balanced to harvest and control daylight and solar heat gain. Morning daylight floods the spaces and deep overhangs block direct heat in summer. The east-facing windows enable generous views of the afternoon sun glowing orange on the salt marsh. West-facing glass overhangs and a frosted glass pergola are calculated to soften and diffuse the afternoon light, taking away the glare and tempering excessive heat gain.

The 18” thick exterior double-wall assembly, filled with dense pack cellulose, has an inboard air barrier behind a service chase. The floor is 10" of EPS on top of a poured concrete slab, creating a thermal-bridge-free wall-to-floor connection.

Air-to-air heat pumps provide heating & cooling and hot water. A ducted ERV system brings fresh air into the building. A 24-panel photovoltaic system is projected to bring all buildings to net zero. The project includes two attached studios to the north of the house, outside the Passive House envelope.

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