Renovating this 1960s ranch-style house in Maine is a “rags to riches” story that may achieve LEED Platinum. Jesse Thompson, AIA, partner at Kaplan Thompson Architects, and his wife Betsy Scheintaub, a fiber textile artist, collaborated on the Ranch Revival project while living in the run-down house with their two children.
Designed for private investor, Craig Ehrlich, by John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, this 1,150 square foot single-family home was built on a lot that is adjacent to the Ehrlich family home that was designed by the same firm about ten years ago, which was built around a garden and featured a graywater recycling system, photovoltaic system, and radiant heating.
Kaplan Thompson Architects were challenged by their clients to build a farmstead home in the mountains of Virginia that could not only meet standards for Passivhaus and LEED, but include a roof on which sheep could graze.
The solution: Earthship Farmstead is a house that is nestled in the east-facing hillside with a floorplan that fits the contours of the surrounding fields. The dining and living room extend out onto the hill to allow south-facing shaded windows to capture warmth and light from the sun. Recently, Earthship Farmstead received Passive House certification and is gathering data toward LEED Platinum certification.
The recently opened Dubai Energy and Water Authority’s (DEWA) Sustainable Building in Dubai has been awarded LEED Platinum status, becoming the largest public sector building in the world to achieve that status and set a new standard in sustainable building construction. It is also the United Arab Emirates’ first public sector green building, was constructed with 36 percent recycled materials, features high-efficiency insulation, and has been designed to reduce water consumption by 48 percent and energy consumption by 66 percent.
Earlier this year, the World Record Academy awarded a home in Dillingham, Alaska with the record for the Tightest Residential Building.
In a video that documents the blower door test, the home’s owners and residents, Dr. Tom Marsik and Kristin Donalson, who designed and built the extremely insulated building, explain their motivation to push the limits of green building methods. The blower door test, which used a special attachment to get the most accurate reading, pressurized the building and then measured the flow that was needed to maintain the difference in pressure from the outside.