Deep Energy Retrofit: Spencer Carriage House

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1905 structure is one of the last remaining stable/carriage houses built to serve the large mansions in the Dupont Circle area. Originally horses and carriages were housed below, and servants above. Over the last hundred years the building has been used as a garage, a car dealership, a fashionable restaurant, and in its last incarnation, a popular nightclub. When the current owner acquired the building, it lay empty and exposed to rain and weather. No original interior trim or features remained and the original layout had long been abandoned.

The design team at Peabody Architects was challenged by the owners to preserve this D.C. landmark, create a home for aging in place, and achieve as close to net-zero energy use as possible without sacrifice to comfort or lifestyle.

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Batesville Net-Zero Residence: A Passive House Case Study

The Charlottesville-Virginia based firm Gehrung + Graham specializes in the design of net-zero and net-positive architecture. These high-performance buildings harness and produce at least as much energy as they require over the course of a year. Familiar with Passive House architecture and committed to lowering their energy footprint, the clients of the Batesville Residence approached Gehrung + Graham in 2013 to design their future home. They envisioned a comfortable, durable, low-maintenance, and energy-efficient house that offered a modern, warm and flowing interior with easy access to the copious garden and play space, and panoramic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Using an integrative team approach for design and construction, the Batesville Residence was able to achieve all of this and more: it has been outperforming its simulated energy demand since its completion in 2016.

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Mossy Rock

Fond memories of vast open spaces from the owner’s childhood in Iowa inspired the design for Mossy Rock — neatly blending the openness of a contemporary home with the simplicity of a vernacular structure.

The home, designed by Bushman Dreyfus Architects, is tucked at the end of a long field and protected by a slight rise in the land to the west. The western view capitalizes on this expansive, yet simple, meeting of sky and grass to reveal a bit of mid-western immensity hidden within the rolling central-Virginia topography.

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