Monday, April 13, 2009

Swede Hill - Green on Block Island

I am taking a quick break from posting about my trip to New Orleans to give you a peek at what all my "green" friends in New England are buzzing about: Swede Hill. Swede Hill is a newly constructed LEED "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design," registered home. It promises to be one of Southern New England’s truly “green” luxury homes. This stunning private hilltop retreat offers breath-taking southerly and westerly ocean views towards Montauk Point and Long Island Sound. The house is situated on a hill that faces both south and west, providing spectacular ocean views. The 3000-square-foot home will be located on four protected acres of Block Island, which is just off the coast of Rhode Island and east of Montauk Point.

The house itself has four bedrooms (plus a guest suite, on top of which solar panels will be installed) and is being offered as a single-family residence. Green design features include solar-heated domestic hot water and fifteen percent of all interior heat; the house’s swimming pool is also solar-powered. A graywater system will provide landscape irrigation (though the property does not have a lawn) and all shower heads and toilets are low-flow.

All photos Luxuo
Given the high winds that sweep across Block Island, the structural design of the house considers those additional wind loads. As you can see in the images above, the house will benefit from those winds through a design that both maximizes cross-ventilation, as well as considers other passive solar and daylighting techniques. Building materials include locally-sourced stone and reclaimed wood. The architect estimates that construction costs should be around $650 per square foot.

Although the property itself is four acres, the Swede Hill House occupies a relatively small footprint by comparison. It is an exciting project for Block Island, as well as a beautiful design. Who says "green" building can't also be luxurious?
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