previous
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Solid Deck-Framing Advice
    Solid Deck-Framing Advice
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • 12 Remodeling Secrets
    12 Remodeling Secrets
  • Gallery: Custom Flooring
    Gallery: Custom Flooring
  • Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
    Video Series: Install a Rock-Solid Tile Floor
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
  • Video: Build a curved step
    Video: Build a curved step
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • Remodeling in Action
    Remodeling in Action
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Deck Design & Construction
    Deck Design & Construction
next
Pin It

Rainwater Collection Lowers the Impact on a Coastal Site

Traditional architecture, new building methods, and rainwater collection combine to lessen a home’s imprint on its sensitive coastal site

When Laura Sewall decided to build a house on land in Maine where generations of family members had retreated in the summer, she was guided by a desire for the house to be graceful and energy efficient, and with as little disruption to the sensitive site as possible. In this article, architect Stephen Sullivan describes the house he built for Sewall. To the casual observer, the home isn't necessarily distinguishable from many other New England homes. It's basic form is a central cube with four cross gables, each of which faces one of the cardinal directions. But a closer look reveals subtle energy-saving details. Windows are maximized to the south, yielding lots of passive solar heat, and structural insulated panels were used to construct the house, with insulated concrete forms used to build the foundation. The house also has a rainwater collection system that allows Sewall to avoid having to draw water from the local ecosystem—and that fills her basement swimming pool.

Rainwater Collection Lowers the Impact on a Coastal Site

Become a Fine Homebuilding Member

to view this article and over a thousand more

Learn More