North Beach House — A Contemporary Take On Environmentally Responsible Modernism


This low-impact, easy to maintain summer home provides contemporary functionality with minimum distractions from wooded land and open view. The solution places the house among mature fir trees located directly between the beach and an upland meadow — walls of glass look out upon both.

As part of the home’s contemporary functionality, the roof is vegetated, which filters rainwater that in turn is collected and stored for use in irrigation. Potable hot water and hydronic heating are aided by solar collectors on the roof, and PV panels above the vegetable garden provide supplemental electricity.

The home is intended for occupancy from May through October, and systems have been designed to zero out electricity use from the grid over the course of a full year.

Location: Orcas Island, WA
Architects: Heliotrope Architects
Contractor: David Shore
Building area: 2,070 sf

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