A couple from Boston approached ZeroEnergy Design with a challenging task - design a home that would be perfectly sized for weekend getaways for 2 as well as extended summer vacations for their family of 7 children and their families. Oh, and it also needed to be super energy-efficient and as close to zero energy as possible. The result was the Truro Residence, a 7 bedroom house that can either accommodate a very large group or can be closed down to a 1 bedroom getaway. A geothermal heat pump provides energy-efficient heating and cooling, while a rooftop solar system provides most of the home's energy.
Located on a narrow lot with west-facing views, the Truro Residence features a multi-functional design that accommodates the home’s various uses. The top floor acts as the “living bar” and includes a long narrow space with a kitchen, living room and a suite. When it is just the couple, this is the only space needed. If more people come, the rest of the top floor can be opened up to provide a dining area and another bedroom and bathroom. When the entire family is visiting, the lower floor, called the “sleeping bar” is opened up, which includes 5 more bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms, plus another living area. Closing this area off reduces energy use for the whole house when it is not needed.
Even though the main views are west-facing, ZeroEnergy Design worked to incorporate solar passive design so as to maximize the energy from the sun in the summer and winter. Large overhangs project the interior from overheating and clerestory windows pull in more daylighting. Geothermal heating and cooling plus a heat recovery ventilator provides energy-efficient climate comfort, while a 11.7 kW rooftop solar system provides almost all of the home’s energy. A battery backup system stores enough energy to provide power for the basics if the power goes out. Finishes and furnishings were chosen based on providing healthy indoor air quality and low maintenance. Finally, the area around the home is vegetated with indigenous plants that prevent erosion and don’t require irrigation.
Images ©Eric Roth/ZeroEnergy Design