Portfolio: New Homes: Creek House (2005)

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This project took up where others had begun many years ago on a lovely inlet off a creek in Virginia’s Northern Neck. A modest concrete masonry foundation had been installed with the hope of building a home at the edge of a family farmstead. The house was never built, and another branch of the family expressed interest. Although too close to the water to meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Act, the foundation was grandfathered, although the footprint of the house could be enlarged only by permission from the planning officials of Westmoreland County. Because the foundation was already perched on a hill, and because trees had grown up all around the old foundation, the new home had the benefit of being both at the water’s edge and in the treetops – a spectacular building site.

The plan took many forms as the client wished to balance the desire for waterfront views (mainly north-facing windows) with energy efficient design, and balance the small footprint with plans for hobbies, guests, gardening and entertaining that would begin in earnest upon their retirement. A variety of building materials were considered, including a new concrete filled masonry product, with an eye towards energy efficiency and resistence to storms off the bay. The house was built using aerated autoclave bricks, a light-weight masonry product made from recycled fly ash that offers excellent insulation.

General Contractor: Stonehaven Homes, Inc.

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