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The sense of a Swiss Family Robinson nature setting shaped the small footprint three level approach with a two story attached screen porch, nestled amongst the trees. A park and walk site with a 24’x32’ main building and an attached 12’x20’ two level screen porch that sits tucked in a valley up the side of a hill, and angled to the side for views and ventilation, establishes the home amongst the forest of beech, oak and maple trees.

Seasonal views of Lake Michigan to the west are enhanced by the ascending high dune to the east. Passive winter sun will filter through the forest’s bare branches, minimizing the warming needs for the home, and the rich canopy will shade the home from the harsh summer light. Natural ventilation and a geothermal heat pump system provide temperature control. Through a western dominated fenestration, the home will harness the prevailing winds off the lake for ventilation needs. The master bedroom, bath and fiber studio are located on the upper level, the main level contains the kitchen, dining area, living room and a half bath. The entry, stair, multi function office/den/bedroom, bath, storage, and laundry area are located on the lower level.

One enters the home from the parking area up the covered dune along a wooden nature walk. The exterior of the home is clad with flat and corrugated cement board panels and trim, and Pella Designer Series windows with integral shades. The roof is composed of douglas fir decking and glulam beams with a Galvalume roof over 12” thick R-50 speclam panels. The screen porch and all other wood is FSC certified. The interior consists of exposed open web steel trusses, galvanized corrugated decking and sealed concrete floors. The interior surface of the walls are clad in primed only cement board panels and the cabinets and wood shelves are minimalist and constructed from a combination of FSC certified wood, reclaimed wood, and FSC certified, urea-formaldehyde free stained MDF panels.

The interior stairs are formed by a series of thick planks of reclaimed wood from a circa 1850s blacksmith shop and barn that cantilever from the wall, and reigned in by a stainless steel cable railing. Low flow water fixtures, energy efficient lighting, including LED strip fixtures, and Energy Star appliances are all incorporated into the home. All surface finishes on walls, millwork, floors and trim will utilize low and no V.O.C. finished. HERS (Home Energy Rating System) energy modeling has been performed on the home, evaluating the structures mechanical system, building envelope, and ability to react and protect from the surrounding environment of sun, sand and wind.

Additional points were achieved from LEED through public awareness, publicity and educational programs. The owners and our firm believe this will be a seminal home in the area and will have a positive environmental influence on the direction of local housing. The homes design, quality, and functionality are the result of a strong cooperative team approach between the owner, contractor and architect.