LEED Platinum certification and a modernist appeal make this house a prime example of how sustainable design can be so potent. The OS House was featured in the New York Times for its capricious façade and sustainable amendments that stand out in a very staid neighborhood. Located on Lake Michigan in Racine, Wisconsin the design by Johnsen Schmaling Architects is a striking and playful fusion of green tech– like ground source heating and solar thermal and electricity– with great light, views and skillful construction.
Getting LEED Platinum was no small task but one of the highlights is that the home racked up points for its modest size/big design. Now the house was by no means cheap, but its systems approach to building means a lifetime of sipping energy, even as Arctic blasts come blowing down the lake. The home is first and foremost built tight. The simple boxiness of the wall systems help as well as construction details like a breathable skin coving a highly insulated wall system.
Solar thermal panels boost a large ground source heat pump which efficiently heats and cools the home. Solar electric panels contribute to the home’s low carbon diet. The expansive windows project the lake into the living space and allow for cooling breezes.