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