2023 Green Design: Net-Zero Ready Home Winner: Downtown Net-Zero Ready Residence

Despite some unique challenges, the client’s ambitious vision of a contemporary, sustainable new residence in a densely populated downtown Portsmouth neighborhood was brought to life. The gabled structure, a nod to the neighborhood’s aesthetic, is modernized with high contrasting color, shape and scale. Horizontal, white, low-maintenance siding joins wide, black, vertical paneling and trim—all with extended warranties to guarantee long life spans. Everything is powered by on-site renewable energy, generated by a roof-mounted solar array and concealed components. A vehicle charging station sits smartly in the driveway. Complementing the environmentally conscious exterior, a healthy, attractive interior environment is achieved using high-performance ventilation and eco-friendly materials. The efficient, highly insulated envelope reduces heating costs in the winter and cooling in the summer. A glass-windowed stairwell, contemporary minimalistic metalwork and other creative solutions create a pleasing flow, open living and lots of natural light. Outside, multilevel decks and a spacious patio further enhance the home. The solar panels, a pandemic-related replacement to more powerful panels the team originally chose, generate just under the required amount to make it fully net-zero.

What the judges said: This project demonstrates an immense respect for the neighborhood and proves that great design can be achieved responsibly and on a budget. It stands as a positive role model for all.

Winter Holben Architecture + Design
Kittery, Maine
(207) 994-3104

Photography: Douglas Schmidt & Ginny Lea Real Estate Photography


Categories: Design Awards Winners