Cottage Street Retrofit

The project: Create a durable energy-efficient family home for an active family of four, with an eye on conservation. What began as a renovation became a Deep Energy Retrofit (C&H’s first) and ended up as a Zero Energy Home, thanks to careful decision-making by Owners with a 50-year vision.

A super-insulated airtight enclosure contains a crisp modern interior with clean, honest finishes – wood, stone, and metal. Exposed beams of engineered lumber speak to the original floor plan of this 1880s home and hint at its high-tech heart.

High performance walls, roof, and basement are matched by high efficiency mechanical systems to keep the home comfortable. A multi-split air source heat pump and Heat Recovery Ventilator provide steady interior temperatures, no matter the conditions outdoors.

The 12kW photovoltaic system provides power to spare for this all-electric home. Shopping for and living with solar spawned a business for the owners, furnishing loans to other residential solar clients.

Project Team


C&H Architects, Amherst MA

Construction Manager

FCM SmartBuild, Florence MA


Holden Builders, Bernardston MA

Energy Consultant

South Mountain Company, West Tisbury MA

Mechanical Engineer

Kohler & Lewis, Keene NH

Structural Engineer

Ryan Hellwig, P.E.

Solar Design

PV Squared, Greenfield, MA