Farmhouse | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: Homes v3 - LEED 2008


Boulder, CO 80301
United States

LEED Platinum 2015

We holistically integrated the owners’ passion for sustainability with a livable, functional, and replicable single family home.

The owners came to us asking for a modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse. We holistically integrated the owners’ passion for sustainability with a livable, functional, and replicable single family home. A “regenerative” building, producing more energy than it consumes, Farmhouse achieved a HERS negative 8 rating, Energy Star v.3.0 and LEED Platinum Certification. Most of all, Farmhouse embodies the owners’ desire to tread lightly on the earth.
We began by deconstructing the dilapidated existing house and donating its materials to ReSource. We sited the new house in the previously-disturbed area to protect the soil and the existing nearby marsh. The remaining site was devoted to permaculture and urban agriculture (there’s even a little passive solar chicken coop/greenhouse). The roof and gutter systems direct water into the gardens and rainwater harvesting barrels.
Farmhouse’s floor plan balanced a modern, open layout with the owners’ desire for a traditional feel. Their passion is their connection to the land, and we opened the house on all sides to views, porches and garden access, which also helps the house live larger than its square footage. We incorporated universal design principles, providing for a future Master Suite on the first floor with an accessible shower. Most spaces serve at least two functions; our favorite detail is a custom designed Guest Room Murphy bed that folds out into a giant sewing table like a Transformer.
Farmhouse was carefully and primarily arranged for optimal passive solar design. The majority of windows face south and each area of glazing was specifically protected and “tuned” to let in and capture just the right amount of daylight.
The building’s envelope is a double stud wall, responding to the owners’ request for a solid, old-world feel, while simultaneously providing a large cavity for insulation and an air gap to eliminate thermal bridging. Foam insulation, insulated fiberglass doors, and Energy Star windows complete the envelope. We used a ground source heat pump, an ERV, 95% LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, and a 10kW solar PV system to complete the Net Positive Energy package. Xeriscaping and low-flow EPA Watersense plumbing fixtures throughout conserve water. Beetle kill pine soffits and cabinetry, composite decking and FSC certified trim preserve forests. Low- and no-VOC finishes were used throughout to protect occupant health.

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Project details
3,982 sf
21 Apr 2015
Data Reporting
Energy Update
Water Update
Transportation Update
Waste Update
Human Experience Update

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