"The net result," says ARO’s principal, Adam Yarinsky, "is you’re using the energy equivalent of a hair dryer to heat the house."
The house was designed to be flexible. The second level can be extended across the double-height living space to add a third bedroom, for example. As expenses mounted, Yarinsky and Andrew Bernheimer, a partner at Della Valle Bernheimer, dropped plans for a pair of skylights, and settled for drywall instead of the more whimsical translucent polycarbonate panels they’d envisioned to enclose the two bedrooms.
"It doesn’t take that much technology to achieve a certain level of sustainability and a low carbon footprint," Yarinsky says. "It just takes smart use of materials and a strong understanding of how a building’s form relates to its energy consumption.
Design team: Architecture Research Office, New York, and Della Valle Bernheimer, Brooklyn
Size: 1,100 square feet
Will Lamb is a writer and editor based in Jersey City, New Jersey. He served as a senior editor at Dwell from 2013 to 2015.