Turkel Design’s “Modern Cottage” awarded highest honor by NAHB Building Systems Council

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By Turkel Design
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Turkel Design is recognized internationally for its homes of classic simplicity and its respectful use of natural materials and environmentally responsible design principles. 

When Brenden Maloof and Scot Cohen of Modern Cottage, LLC approached Turkel Design to create their dream of a highly energy-efficient, loft-like model home in the New York countryside,the design collaboration led to "Modern Cottage," the first modular home to be NAHB Emerald Certified in New York State and the 2012 recipient of the NAHB Building Systems Councils Best Green Built Home Award. 

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For Brenden, a lifelong enthusiast of responsible living, Modern Cottage is tangible proof that you can be proactively mindful of the environment without giving up the desire to live well or affordably. 

The house earned its pedigree with elements including minimally invasive siting, high performance windows, a thermally insulated shell, low-flow water fixtures, low consumption lighting, a state-of-the-art geo-thermal system using only a water well, and zero fossil fuel consumption. One of its most important features is that, quite simply, it just "feels" healthy. An HRV ventilating system delivers humidified, filtered fresh air throughout the house, while the tightly sealed building envelope and insulation prevent dust, pollen, dirt, mold-inducing moisture -- and noise -- from getting inside. 

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The emphasis on energy efficiency was balanced by an emphasis on great design. Turkel Design,together with Brenden’s firm, infused Modern Cottage with signature Turkel features: clean lines,a modern aesthetic, sustainable materials, open gathering spaces, personal sanctuaries and intelligent traffic flow, all within a 2700 sf structure designed to showcase the sweeping views of the Berkshire Hills. The result was featured in the recently published Prefabulous + Almost off the Grid: Your path to building an energy-independent home by Sheri Koones. 

To maintain affordability and predictability, major portions of Modern Cottage were constructed in a factory setting at Epoch Homes in New Hampshire. The house is a unique hybrid of prefab components and site-built construction that required less than four months to complete but offers a lifetime of design quality and energy savings. 

If you are thinking about building a highly insulated, energy-efficient home but are concerned about cost, note the small increase in upfront insulating expense, depending upon climate and location, can often be offset by savings from the smaller, less expensive HVAC systems required to heat and cool a tightly sealed house. In many areas there are generous tax credits and rebate programs available to further reduce the initial outlays. And, of course, the reduced heating and cooling requirements can greatly reduce the ongoing utility bills for the lifetime of the house.