"Net Positive Energy" is a term used to describe a property capable of using less energy than it creates, by means of on-site renewable energy generation. The surplus may be used to do things like charge electric automobiles, or in many cases, sold to the utility company. High performance 'Passive House' (or 'passivhaus', if you prefer the German label) buildings make achieving net positive energy relatively easy and affordable because their energy consumption is a fraction of that needed by buildings simply built to current energy code standards.
This project, designed and built to perform to Passive House standards, has a relatively small photo-voltaic solar panel array on the roof. The project was specifically designed to conceal the panels from view to the owners, their guests, or the public as they silently charge the 'smart' battery storage system.
The sculptural architectural form was our response to the land, which was a rare vacant corner lot in a dense and mature urban neighborhood. Vacant for a reason... it was a massive solid basalt outcropping that made the site unbuildable for most residential builders. For us, the unique character of the site was an opportunity. The home stands high above the street level behind a low wall of basalt we created to extend the stone podium to define intimate outdoor living areas, intentionally blurring the boundaries between 'architecture' and 'landscape architecture'. Interior and exterior spaces blend as they enjoy privacy looking out into a canopy of trees in a centrally situated setting - a rare blend of city and country ideals delivering convenience and beauty, community and privacy.
The home has a clean contemporary minimalism, but it certainly doesn't present an off-putting formality. A thoughtfully limited palette of interior and exterior materials, along with meticulous architectural detailing combine to create a sophisticated, yet warm and inviting collection of spaces.