flexiblefullpage -
Currently Reading

High-Performance Custom Homes: Systemic Sustainability in Cape Cod

Advertisement
billboard -
Design

High-Performance Custom Homes: Systemic Sustainability in Cape Cod

This Cap Cod home achieves energy efficiency and high performance with common materials


By By Shelly D. Hutchins, LEED, AP December 23, 2020
Poplar wood cladding on exterior of Cape Cod high-performance house
This article first appeared in the CB Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Custom Builder.

Merging his extensive background in building science with his architecture skills gives Steven Baczek the ability to build custom homes that will last a long time and look good along the way, he says. Baczek’s philosophy involves focusing on clients’ comfort and health, which ultimately results in homes that are durable, energy efficient, and environmentally responsible.

Project: Pond House II, Cape Cod, Mass.
Architect: Steven Baczek Architect, Reading, Mass. 
Builder: Shoreline Builders, Situate, Mass.
Size: 3,000 square feet   
Site: 1 acre 
Photos: David Fell

Patio of Cape Cod high-performance houseA bumped-out picture window and an offset destination screened porch linked via a balcony with wide stairs that lead to the ground floor all add layers of visual interest to the two-story rear exterior.

Although Baczek works as a sole proprietor at his eponymous firm in the Boston metro area, he has collaborated with Jim Wolffer at Shoreline Builders—as he did on this house—for nearly three decades. Getting the builder involved from the beginning works like the design/build model, which Baczek finds helpful in preventing miscommunication during construction. The architect strives to keep his designs straightforward to build, and getting input from Wolffer ensures that’s the case. 

Kitchen with quartz countertop in Cape Cod high-performance house The quartz countertops’ distinctive gray veining draws the eye across the open living space and gives the kitchen’s clean lines an organic feel. 

“Most of my energy-efficient designs use common materials and common methods requiring a little more effort,” Baczek explains. “No one is changing tools or working with unfamiliar materials; they just put a little more effort into it with additional framing, insulation, or tape.” 

RELATED

The poplar wood cladding for this home on a small lake near Cape Cod certainly fits that common-materials goal. However, these planks get baked and pressurized, turning the wood into a dense product. The process also adds a rich brown finish to the boards, which the owners can preserve with occasional maintenance or let patina to gray. In addition, the wood becomes impervious to rot and bugs. Used with ¾-inch open-joint rainscreen on top of insulated sheathing ensures walls are able to dry. 

Picture window in bedroom of Cape Cod high-performance houseA bumped-out picture window and an offset destination screened porch linked via a balcony with wide stairs that lead to the ground floor all add layers of visual interest to the two-story rear exterior.

Added insulation under the home’s slab foundation increases the home’s comfort by eliminating chilly floors at the walkout basement level. This also allowed Baczek to leave the concrete floor exposed; a low-maintenance, durable surface that he says also visually grounds the house to its site. 

Living room in Cape Cod high-performance house

The sloped site offered the architect ideal contours for creating what looks like a single-story home from the front but expands into two stories opening up to lake views in the back. The linear footprint stretches out to a detached garage and destination screened porch, both linked via open walkways. Another common material—cement board—finishes both structures.

Related Stories

Construction

2022 Custom Timber Home Building Outlook

A few of top tips from Mid-Atlantic Timberframes for working with timber frame providers, as well as what we’re seeing on the custom timber home building horizon for 2022.

Construction

A Case for Compact Duct Layouts

Energy and building codes now require a high level of insulation, high-performance glazing, and better air sealing—compact duct layouts may help

Design

Guest Column: Blurred Lines

Using floor-to-ceiling sliding or folding glass doors is an effective means of enhancing the connection between interior spaces and the outdoors.

Design

Design/Build: High Design Hopes

Learn how a Minneapolis design/build firm convinced clients that less is more for their custom-built home

Case Studies

Case Study: Opening Up a Former Apartment Building

The architects of a San Francisco home solve the problem of a missing backyard

Design Details

Design Details: Above the Fray

In a densely populated Seattle neighbor­hood, two adjacent infill sites were developed: The Lookout and Shake Shacks

Design

Design/Build: Perfecting the Design, Controlling the Build

Design/build allows firms to guide clients toward smart design decisions, while anticipating construction challenges

Design

Design Detail: Moody Blues Between Home Offices

See the creative solution for keeping his and her home offices separate and private

Design Spotlight

His Closet by Yelena Gerts

Yelena Gerts creates a his closet with the vibe of a Rodeo Drive upscale men's clothing boutique

Design Spotlight

Primary Closets by Angelica Henry Design

Angelica Henry designs for his and her closets that accommodate and show off  the clients' wardrobes and favorites

Advertisement
boombox1 -
Advertisement
boombox2 -
Advertisement
native1 -

More in Category



Design

Guest Column: Blurred Lines

Using floor-to-ceiling sliding or folding glass doors is an effective means of enhancing the connection between interior spaces and the outdoors.


Advertisement
native2 -
Advertisement
halfpage1 -