The Concord climate, with its very cold winters and hot, sometimes very humid summers, required a mix of active and passive strategies to achieve cost effective interior conditioning. The structure is elongated along the northeast-southwest axis to utilize the cool western breezes that flow through open power lines and over water during the summer. A combination of Marvin Ultimate Clad tri-pane and Marvin Integrity double glazed, low-e, argon-filled, operable windows were incorporated into the home to provide cross-ventilation throughout the house with superior thermal and air leakage performance. An open, wide, centrally located staircase connects the two levels of the home.
Thermal air flow operating options include opening the large Integrity slider windows in the upper 3-season room, while doing the same with the lower oversized sliding Integrity french door in the summer for cooling, and turning on three low amperage Fantech axial fans located just below the high points in the home that discharge air via ductwork to the floor of the lower level during the winter for heating. There are also operable Marvin Ultimate Clad casement sidelite windows on each side of each of the two main Marvin Ultimate Clad entry doors (north and south) which open into the first floor foyer, allowing a cooling cross breeze during the summer, which are completely shielded from the weather should a summer storm pop-up. All upper level rooms have Marvin Ultimate Clad tri-pane double hung windows. The large roof overhangs minimize solar heat gain in the summer while still inviting in the sun’s passive solar rays in the winter.
The lower level is naturally cooled with its earth berm on three sides, yet the two occupied rooms on the south side both have large slider windows that provide copious amounts of natural light, ventilation, and egress via specially made fiberglass Rockwell window wells with built-in steps. The north façade, exposed to northern winter winds, is buffered by the 3-season room on one end which is closed off with an 8’x12’ NanaWall triple glazed, folding/sliding door. The wind buffer is extended by the protected spa enclosure on the other end of the house. During the winter the foyer connection to the main living space is closed off with an insulated double pocket glass door by Baird Brothers that is housed within a 6” stud wall insulated with Roxul mineral wool, allowing the foyer, which receives traffic from the door to the garage as well as front and rear access doors, to be maintained at a much cooler temperature with its own dedicated radiant floor zone. Additionally, air leakage testing performed during the homes Energy Star rating of 2.0 on the HERS index, demonstrated Passive House performance levels at 0.60 ACH at 50 Pascals.