Net Zero House and Studio

This project began with a conceptual master plan for a large parcel in Southern New England. A new home – a modern homestead – on a site once occupied by a small dairy at the base of the Appalachians.

A mix of forest, field, and forgotten foundations presented a palette of elements from which the new foundation would emerge.

During the process, the design direction coalesces into a guiding concept, an idea or collection of goals that offer clarity and guiding principles to take the work from concept to design to construction to occupancy. It may be a simple sketch or turn of phrase. In this case, it was a diagram of how the elements would engage the landscape that was introduced to us as “Low Pass.”

This project has been driven by a client duo comprised of an artist’s mind and a prophetic humanist engineer brain. Two balanced ideologies, remarkably congruous with each other and the practices of the project team. Together, we have led each other through our respective expertise (color, systems, space, light, detail, management).

The attributes combined deliver beauty and resilience in a contemporary aesthetic with a deep functional connection to the landscape.

Resilient design to withstand the unexpected and quite expected challenges of climate & culture.

  • Battery-integrated PV system with on & off-grid capacity.
  • Pest-resistant details to naturally combat rodents, ticks, carpenter bees, and everything the Northeast has to offer.
  • Carbon-smart envelope system at Passive House level (not-certified).
  • Barn & growing spaces.

Space design to savor the natural beauty of the exterior protected within.

  • Interior viewscapes follow the narrative of the landscape as a network of folded planes and openings.
  • Strategic glazing optimizes ventilation, views, & daylighting balanced to energy.
  • Formal language integrated into a strategically programmed pattern language.
  • Deliberate workflows established such as:
    • Farm & wild to process, cook, & consume
    • View to retreat
    • Studio isolation to family connection
    • Garden to summer kitchen

Nestled in the rolling farmland and foothills about 2 hours north of New York City.

Project Team


C&H Architects

General Contractor

Structural Engineering

Land Survey, Septic & Civil Engineering

Patrick R. Hackett, P.E.

Design Consultant

Amanda Lehman

Lighting Design