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Architectural House Plans

Shaping the Seasons Featured Home Plan

Natural Home Magazine
July / August Issue, 2004

"Natural Home" is collaborating with Architectural House Plans (formerly Healthy Home Designs) to offer home plans that enable readers to build a healthy, environmentally responsible home from the ground up. Architectural House Plans has been providing detailed construction drawings for healthy and green homes since 1994. In each issue we’ll feature a different plan, created by an award-winning architect, available for purchase at ArchitecturalHousePlans.com.

 

Shaping the Seasons - An Architect's Home

Designed and built by architect Linda Moody as her personal residence in Pepperell, Massachusetts, Shaping the Seasons is an environmentally-friendly version of the classic New England saltbox. Wood clapboards, double-hung windows, and gables are contextual features of this design. A garden room on the home’s southwest corner is a two-story passive solar space with about ninety square feet of south-facing glass and a crushed stone/bluestone floor that absorbs and stores the sun’s heat, then slowly disperses it at night. On the second floor, the master bath features a whirlpool tub surrounded by windows. In the master bedroom, cathedral ceilings and triple French doors give a feeling of expansiveness.

Though the floor plan is open, it allows for intimate spaces, including bump-outs for a piano nook and a reading alcove off the dining room. Varying ceiling heights and planes make each space feel different. The kitchen, for example, has a low ceiling of tongue-and-groove one-by-six pine and is open to the living room, which has a pine cathedral ceiling. An upstairs mezzanine overlooks the living room.

A brick masonry woodstove provides most of the heat for the house. It burns efficiently and cleanly, and the brick acts as thermal mass, retaining heat to release throughout the day and night. Passive cooling is provided through a combination of ventilation and shading. The roof's large two-foot overhang provides summer shade, as does a large screened porch on the west. Along with operable skylights in the cathedral ceilings, a viewing turret above the second floor expels hot air at the high point of the house. With its double hung windows, 270-degree view, and skylight above, you feel as if you are sitting on top of the world.

What Makes This Home Healthy?

Meet the Architect
Linda Moody
Linda Moody & Associates Architects
Pepperell, Massachusetts

What were you hoping to achieve in this home design?
I wanted to feel a connection to nature from anywhere in the house. I wanted my home to have a spacious, open floor plan (nothing claustrophobic!), but with intimate spaces and a seamless transition between nature and tempered indoor space. There is no place inside my home that you can’t see outside to nature. In addition, I wanted a home that was reasonable in cost to build and economical to maintain.

What are your favorite features?
My personal favorite is the garden room- it’s a great remedy for cabin fever! It pulls in natural light and feels as if it’s outdoors, yet it’s warm, cozy and comfortable. The open mezzanine above the living room provides a wonderful spacious perspective on the entire home.

This article refers to the "Shaping the Seasons" home plan available on this site.