Modern Beach Home WaterviewsModern Living Room, Boston
Photo by Eric Roth
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Earlier we stressed the importance of minimizing west-facing glass to reduce cooling loads. Yet the majority of the time, no site is perfect. What happens if the site has a spectacular west-facing view? It may even be the very reason you wanted to live there in the first place.Though not off the grid, the home shown here still manages to be energy efficient while framing westerly views with walls of glass; the rest of the building envelope was constructed with a double stud frame and a continuous layer of foam insulation. This, together with a geothermal system and radiant heating, allows the overall home to be extremely energy efficient without sacrificing views.
What Houzzers are commenting on:
1. Conserve Energy While Maximizing ViewsHomes with expansive windows also need to take comfort and functionality into consideration. For example, the living room in this modern Cape Cod home has stunning ocean views, with the horizon wrapping around two sides of the house. The design challenge is that it’s located atop a bluff with extreme exposure to the elements. The ZeroEnergy team took measures to help prevent energy loss. “Thermally broken windows sealed with aluminum trim have high resistance to the wind and ocean water,” Horowitz says. “The thickness of the interior wall that separates rooms creates an extremely well-insulated, cozy space to watch the storms roll in. The wall also has a depth and scale that pairs with the form of the house.” See more of this project
These walls conceal a big reason for this home’s energy efficiency: a combination of spray-foam and rigid-foam insulation; the two work in tandem to eliminate thermal bridging. “Low-tech solutions such as continuous insulation and air sealing have a big impact on the energy efficiency of a home — especially in cold climates,” says Horowitz. “These systems don’t break. There is no maintenance. And they have been around for a really long time.” A blower door test during construction can identify potential air leaks and remedy them before construction concludes.