The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® House

By

Architect: Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA
Chapel Hill, NC

www.acsarchitect.com


This modern, Net Zero-Net Positive house is a customized version of one of architect Arielle Condoret Schechter’s Micropolis® houses -- a collection of small, modern, sustainable house plans she continues to design that can be purchased outright or customized to accommodate specific needs.

Her clients, Cheryl and Ken Serdar, loved the original 950-square-foot plan but needed a bit more space. So Schechter enlarged it to 2222 heated square feet to include a spacious, spa-like bathroom and a third bedroom that Cheryl could use for her office and jewelry-making studio.

Originally from Texas, the Serdars were very clear about what they wanted. They told Schechter that they wanted their new home in the Piedmont region of North Carolina to be "very modern, extremely green, and almost industrial."

Through form, function, and materials choices, the house is decidedly modern. The exterior walls are prefab-concrete sandwhich panels made to Schechter's specifications and brought to the site. The rich hue of the angled, wood-clad soffit is a warm visual and textural contrast to the walls. All windows are doors are aluminum framed and the floors are primarily polished cement.

A pivoting, steel front door, sliding "barn doors," and built-in closets, cabinets, and shelving throughout the house are modern space-saving ideas.

Extensive glazing provides the Serdars with an abundance of natural light and natural ventilation. In the central living space, casement windows are combined with a wall of folding doors that open the entire back of the living/dining/kitchen area to the back porch, welcoming cool breezes inside during pleasant weather.

All of those elements contribute to the house’s environmentally sensitivity. The Net Zero status takes it up to "extremely green." In fact, the Serdars' modified Micropolis® house is the most energy-efficient residence Schechter has designed to date (and she's designed several Net Zero/Net Positive houses). It has a HERS rating of -13, compared to the average American house’s very poor HERS rating of 100. Representatives from the independent rating company reported that this was the lowest/best rating they had ever seen.

Along with the cement floors, other details that give the house its minimalist, industrial ambiance are the exposed ducts and the large factory fan from Big Ass Fans®.

Like their architect, the Serdars are passionate about animals and include cats in their household. For the felines' pleasure, Schechter enjoyed creating a “cat staircase” of simple, natural wood steps that lead up to a 12-foot-high platform in the living room.

EXPLORING IDEAS: As Schechter was designing the master bath, she was "exploring ideas of what a luxurious bathroom can be," she said, "which ties in with my assertion that smaller houses let you put your money toward better quality in materials and details rather than square feet."

The walls of this elegant space are covered in dark gray, large-scale tile that recalls the exterior. The custom-designed vanity is composed of pale natural wood and stone. The architect used the same wood for built-in cabinets and drawers. But the star of the space is the lighted shoe-display closet Schechter devised for Cheryl Serdar’s extensive collection of designer shoes.

Schechter names her Micropolis® house plans for certain inspirations they give her. She named this one “Happy Family” because she designed it to have two bedrooms on either end as private retreats with a central shared space between them where the homeowners can be together. Schechter believes this plan offers "the type of spatial variety essential for a happy family."

About Arielle Condoret Schechter:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in Modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new tiny house plans, the Micropolis Houses®. She is a lifelong environmentalist and began practicing green design long before it became mainstream. She is also a lifelong animal advocate who lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals in the Modern, sustainable house she designed for them.


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Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, House Building Type, and Concrete Siding Material. In form, function, and materials, the Serdars' new home is decidedly modern. Photo  of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

In form, function, and materials, the Serdars' new home is decidedly modern.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Concrete Siding Material, and Shed RoofLine. The deep, angled, wood-clad soffit is an intriguing visual and textural contrast to the dark gray cement board exterior walls.  Photo 2 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The deep, angled, wood-clad soffit is an intriguing visual and textural contrast to the dark gray cement board exterior walls.

Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, and Concrete Siding Material. The angular entrance draws attention to the steel pivoting front door. Photo 3 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The angular entrance draws attention to the steel pivoting front door.

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, House Building Type, Concrete Siding Material, and Shed RoofLine. At the front door, a slim side window lets sunlight spill into the house behind the steel door.  Photo 4 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

At the front door, a slim side window lets sunlight spill into the house behind the steel door.

Modern home with Exterior, Shed RoofLine, Concrete Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and House Building Type. A simple cement walkway leads from the garage to the front door and mirrors the angle of the entrance. Photo 5 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

A simple cement walkway leads from the garage to the front door and mirrors the angle of the entrance.

Modern home with Exterior, Concrete Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, Shed RoofLine, and House Building Type. The western elevation. Photo 6 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The western elevation.

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, and Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck. A folding glass door system opens the house to the back porch and extends the living space. Photo 7 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

A folding glass door system opens the house to the back porch and extends the living space.

Modern home with Living Room, Pendant Lighting, Recessed Lighting, Concrete Floor, Sofa, Track Lighting, and Sectional. View from the back porch to the front door. Photo 8 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

View from the back porch to the front door.

Modern home with Living Room, Sectional, Recessed Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Track Lighting, and Concrete Floor. The pivoting door is an intriguing and practical solution to spatial conservation. Photo 9 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The pivoting door is an intriguing and practical solution to spatial conservation.

Modern home with Living Room, Recessed Lighting, Concrete Floor, Track Lighting, Pendant Lighting, Sectional, and Coffee Tables. View from the living room to the dining area and kitchen. The floor is polished concrete. Photo 10 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

View from the living room to the dining area and kitchen. The floor is polished concrete.

Modern home with Living Room, Coffee Tables, Concrete Floor, Pendant Lighting, Sectional, and Recessed Lighting. A view down the length of the one-room-deep main living space. Photo 11 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

A view down the length of the one-room-deep main living space.

Modern home with Living Room, Sectional, Recessed Lighting, Coffee Tables, and Concrete Floor. Starting in the corner by the glass doors, little wood platforms comprise the "cat staircase" that lets the feline residents climb up to the clerestory windows.  Photo 12 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

Starting in the corner by the glass doors, little wood platforms comprise the "cat staircase" that lets the feline residents climb up to the clerestory windows.

Modern home with Living Room, Concrete Floor, Recessed Lighting, and Sectional. A wall of aluminum-framed glazing provides a full view of the forest beyond the homeowners' property, Photo 13 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

A wall of aluminum-framed glazing provides a full view of the forest beyond the homeowners' property,

Modern home with Recessed Lighting and Concrete Floor. A factory fan from Big Ass Fans® keeps the indoor air moving.  Photo 14 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

A factory fan from Big Ass Fans® keeps the indoor air moving.

Modern home with Pendant Lighting, Concrete Floor, and Recessed Lighting. In the central dining area and throughout the house, exposed ductwork helps satisfy the homeowners' desire for an "almost industrial" ambiance. Photo 15 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

In the central dining area and throughout the house, exposed ductwork helps satisfy the homeowners' desire for an "almost industrial" ambiance.

Modern home with Recessed Lighting, Pendant Lighting, and Concrete Floor. View from the kitchen to the dining area and living space. Photo 16 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

View from the kitchen to the dining area and living space.

Modern home with Pendant Lighting, Concrete Floor, and Recessed Lighting. The high ceiling accommodates a row of clerestory windows at the front of the house.  Photo 17 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The high ceiling accommodates a row of clerestory windows at the front of the house.

Dining/Kitchen area. Photo 18 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® House modern homeView Photos

Dining/Kitchen area.

Modern home with Recessed Lighting, Concrete Floor, and Pendant Lighting. The white subway-tiled backsplash and open shelving  make the kitchen look brighter and more spacious. The wrap-over counter top on the island looks like weathered steel but it's actually Dekton®, a composite material. Photo 19 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® HouseView Photos

The white subway-tiled backsplash and open shelving make the kitchen look brighter and more spacious. The wrap-over counter top on the island looks like weathered steel but it's actually Dekton®, a composite material.

The extended countertop on the island provides a casual dining option and lets guests watch the cook at work. A wine cooler is tucked into one end of the island. Photo 20 of The Serdar Net Zero-Net Positive Micropolis® House modern homeView Photos

The extended countertop on the island provides a casual dining option and lets guests watch the cook at work. A wine cooler is tucked into one end of the island.

Credits

Posted By
Bedrooms
  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 2222
  • 2222