Old houses are in designer and builder Rafe Churchill’s DNA and on his resume. A third-generation builder who has studied architecture and art, Rafe has decades of experience remodeling the historic homes of Southern New England and New York’s Westchester County and Hudson River Valley. For this new home, Rafe drew on the traditions of Shaker design. The details inside and out are authentic, clean, simple, and sparse-true to the Shaker form. Beneath the surface however, are a well-insulated and tight building envelope and a modern mechanical system. With energy provided by the south-facing roof’s photovoltaic array, this home produces nearly all of the energy it consumes. Congratulations to Rafe, the designer of our 2016 best new home.