Mackilston in by Simon Winstanley Architects
View Slideshow

Simon Winstanley Architects set out to create a contemporary single-story “long house”, which is recessed in the landscape, sustainable in construction, very low in energy consumption, and with the aim for zero net CO2 emission for all energy use in the house.

The design uses lightweight but highly insulated steel and timber frame construction, clad in cedar weatherboarding allowed to weather to a natural silver gray color. The roof uses pre-weathered gray standing seam zinc. Windows and external doors are to be high performance timber, painted gray.

The slope of the roof of the main living accommodation follows the slope of the hillside, with the roof of the rear accommodation meeting the main roof at a shallower angle to allow morning sunlight to penetrate the center of the house.

The entrance to the house is on the north east side under the cover of the roof to provide shelter from the prevailing wind. The principal rooms are situated along the contour of the site to sit comfortably in the landscape and enjoy the views across the valley to the west. The ancillary or “servant” spaces are generally at the rear (must be nice).

This house is proposed to achieve a “zero carbon” house by using very high levels of insulation, minimizing air infiltration, heating using a ground source heat pump with solar hot water heating panels in the roof and generating electricity using a wind turbine. Surface water run off from the house will be channeled to a pond and used for watering the garden, etc. Foul water will be treated by a sewage treatment plant and reed bed system.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.