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New Kent House

New Kent County, Virginia

Site study and schematic design for a small cottage in rural New Kent County


The goal of this project phase was to create a schematic design for a new 1200-1600 square foot single family residence with all primary living spaces on the entry level, as currently envisioned by the client and a reference plan.

The residence will be known as the “cottage” and is planned to serve as the client’s main residence until a second residence (the “main house”) is designed and built on the site in subsequent years. Within the schematic phase is also a site study and building layout that assembles locations for the main house, barn, cottage, and other site amenities and plantings as decided by the client.

The schematic design and site study included the development of a full program for the cottage, a room layout and adjacency plan including the location of the kitchen, mud room/entry foyer, utility/mechanical room, a combined living and dining area, bedrooms, and bathrooms, a material selection guideline with examples and recommendations, a selection of technologies and systems with recommendations, and other spaces developed through the program review.

The project will incorporate numerous sustainable design strategies such as: minimal site impact, southern orientation for passive solar gain and daylighting, cross ventilation and passive ventilation strategies, sustainably harvested wood, low flow water faucets and shower heads, and a cistern or rain barrels for collecting and dispersing rainwater. We’ll also look at the viability of installing a photovoltaic array, a solar hot water system, and an energy recovery HVAC system. Durable, natural and local materials will be chosen wherever possible.

We also suggested employing a green building rating system be incorporated into the design and construction of the project to quantify our successful implementation of these strategies and to make any tax incentives for energy efficient homes available to you. This would entail the design pursue a Silver rating in LEED for Homes or Earthcraft Certification at a minimum.

Completed Study: 2012