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ecoMOD3: The SEAM House

Charlottesville, Virginia
LEED for Homes v 1.11
ecoMOD3: The SEAM House
Photo courtesy Scott Smith Photography
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Gross area: 398 ft2

Date completed: December 2007

Profile: EcoMOD3: The SEAM House consists of two housing units, a historic house that has been preserved and given a significant energy upgrade, and behind it an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), a studio apartment detached from the main house.  It is the accessory unit that has been certified LEED Platinum—the smallest LEED certified structure in the world according to the project team. 

Energy-saving strategy: The accessory dwelling unit (ADU) has an efficient, on-demand domestic gas-powered hot water system, and a combined washer/dryer unit. ThermaSteel wall/roof panels and super insulated floor framing also contribute to the home’s low energy consumption. The passive strategies of the house were carefully studied: daylight, shade, and most importantly, ventilation. The ADU was placed in the shade of a pecan tree, which provides substantial shading. Low windows on the south side (where the majority of the breezes come from on the site) and high windows on the north side make the unit comfortable without air conditioning through most of the summer.


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