Platinum House (LEED Platinum certified)

Designed to Make a Difference

The entire house is oriented to capture sun and shade and designed to passively heat and cool itself. The home also has a wide range of features to increase energy productivity including geothermal heat, photovoltaic energy collection, solar hot water, thermal massing and heat-recovery technologies. Additional key features include: two 1,500-gallon rainwater collection cisterns, radiant floor heating, site-milled wood trim, triple-glazed windows and a vegetated roof.

A large east-west “spine” forms a central thermal mass core for the house. This massive wall reduces temperature swings and is oriented in conjunction with operable skylights to take advantage of cooling techniques. In addition, this wall sets up a division between private and public spaces. To the north, the private portion of the house is much more enclosed. To the south, the glassy public spaces have abundant natural light and views. To the east, the water side of the house, windows and doors open to allow the naturally cool breezes from the Sound to temper the interior spaces.

Coates also created spaces with multiple functions in order to achieve a smaller overall footprint. For example, the washer and dryer and clothing storage are built into the master bathroom casework and there’s an office tucked into a corner of the media room. The home’s roof became a vegetated garden patio providing a place to relax – and greater insulation. There are also sliding and bi-folding doors that transform smaller rooms into larger gathering spaces that can be easily connected to the outdoors. “Every room in the house serves at least two functions, and usually four or five,” said Coates.

Coates’ commitment to going green paid off: the 2,500 sf home uses 70% less energy than a typical comparably-sized home.

LEEDing the Way

The Ellis’ home shows that sustainability and a love of modern design aren’t mutually exclusive. “We wanted to prove that modern, gracious residential design could encompass local environmental concerns and state- of-the-art energy efficiency,” said Joanne Ellis. “Matthew and his team far exceeded our goals.”

The home serves as a model and educational tool for future sustainable residential projects. During construction and after they moved in, the Ellis’ hosted open houses to inspire others to embrace sustainability. Coates is a sought-after speaker and lecturer and the Ellis’ often join him to relate their experiences to a wider audience. “It became obvious early on that Joanne and Ed wanted to do more than just build green,” Coates recalled. “They are active role models for sustainable living.”

The Ellis’ are proud that their home raises the bar for environmental commitment in design and construction, but more importantly they hope it will inspire others to embrace sustainability in their own homes – and lives.

ellis entry
Ideabooks14,719
Questions7
This image captures the main entry to the home. All of the wood used for the bench on the left came from one large tree that was on-site. It was milled on-site and kiln-dried locally. A lot of this wood was also used on the inside as finish trim... so the tree never really left the site! Also in this image are LED lights and an off-the-shelf ground-face masonry block that i...More
“skylight, framed entry” — fernwoodhouse
Ellis Residence - exterior
Ideabooks8,612
Questions3
“aespan 16 inch standing seam champagne color” — searya1
Ellis Residence - exterior
Ideabooks17,755
Questions5
“Flatten out a pitched roof with clerestory windows.” — shambaugh
Ellis Residence - exterior
Ideabooks4,734
Questions4
“Left of picture, glass doors and deck above.” — sylviasshortreed
Ellis Residence - Living room
Ideabooks3,038
Questions9
“Windows” — techbond
“Lighting in t n g ceiling” — missboodle
“Although it is shown above the windows, the 12" or so mill between bottom windows and top is the typ” — sayfrancis
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks1,569
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The windows above the staircase allow sunlight to warm the thermal mass CMU wall during the winter months. photo credit: Lara Swimmer
“Nature, natural, texture, man made, minimal, style, us!” — ellyatt
Ellis Residence - green roof
Ideabooks3,307
Questions5
This image showcases a rooftop garden with hardwood decking and concrete pavers that define a seating area.
“Fence” — ldopfel
Ellis Residence - master bathroom
Ideabooks1,359
Questions3
“light fixtures” — Jenny Hansen Das
Ellis Residence - master bathroom
Ideabooks3,929
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“Sunk tub” — shyon
Ellis Residence - master bathroom
Ideabooks41,738
Questions17
This image features a Japanese soaking tub, or "ofuro." Ofuro tubs are deeper in comparison to the western bathtub, with sides that are square rather than sloped or rounded. The lights are compact fluorescent, and all of the wood paneling is Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The countertop is recycled quartz.
“Bath & view” — tanoz
Ellis Residence - master bathroom
Ideabooks4,463
Questions2
Ofuro handcrafted tub
“great tub” — billyb555
Ellis Residence - master bathroom
Ideabooks2,149
Questions6
“Clean line under mount sinks with one hole faucets options vs out of the wall.” — paigejeff
Ellis Residence - Kitchen
Ideabooks5,213
Questions11
“windows” — Veal Design Associates
“masonry interior” — robertslopez
LEED Platinum Ellis Residence
Ideabooks1,502
Questions1
“chaleureuse et originale” — 28081961
LEED Platinum Ellis Residence
Ideabooks1,019
Questions0
“Exterior down lights” — denisesmith110
LEED Platinum Ellis Residence
Ideabooks12,095
Questions8
“stilt design?” — tomhamburg
LEED Platinum Ellis Residence
Ideabooks821
Questions1
“yan duvar paneli olara kenet sistem” — alperaras
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks72
Questions1
Art Grice
“silver color wall - laminated plates” — juancfigueroa0916
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks252
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Art Grice
“roof deck and windows below” — beth
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks88
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Art Grice
“Anchor/float could be great garden light” — ellyatt
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks96
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Art Grice
“This but with angled roof?” — luis711
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks139
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Art Grice
“B” — hels101
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks79
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Art Grice
“cube holds Japanese soaking tub” — mcfungi
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks81
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Art Grice
“detail, large downspouts” — pbyar
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
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Art Grice
“siding” — ckornik
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks107
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Art Grice
“This looks pretty nice, but a bit outside my budget!” — helainehonig
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks260
Questions1
Art Grice
“Back step” — wwendel1
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks167
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Art Grice
“2nd story deck” — bprupas
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks37
Questions1
Art Grice
“Uses the natural setting as the decor.” — curlygirl52
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks152
Questions1
Art Grice
“Wood, metal, concrete conex” — Alexandria James
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks79
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Art Grice
“House color” — ronin223
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks176
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Art Grice
“garage” — bett53
Ellis Residence (LEED Platinum certified)
Ideabooks79
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Art Grice
“Textured block looks gd with linear cedar panels” — ellyatt
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