Architecture

Luxurious and energy-efficient Pond House shoots for net zero

Luxurious and energy-efficient...
Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
View 14 Images
Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
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Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
The interior layout is noteworthy and furnished with high-end materials
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The interior layout is noteworthy and furnished with high-end materials
The first floor features a living room, main kitchen, and dining room
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The first floor features a living room, main kitchen, and dining room
The first floor features a living room, main kitchen, and dining room
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The first floor features a living room, main kitchen, and dining room
The dock and large pond
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The dock and large pond
On sunny days, Pond House will produce an excess of required juice, which is fed into the grid
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On sunny days, Pond House will produce an excess of required juice, which is fed into the grid
The sloping roof serves both aesthetic and practical purposes, channeling rainwater runoff into the pond and ensuring that maximum sunlight reaches the roof-based solar array
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The sloping roof serves both aesthetic and practical purposes, channeling rainwater runoff into the pond and ensuring that maximum sunlight reaches the roof-based solar array
The first floor features an outdoor area that includes fireplace and outdoor kitchen
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The first floor features an outdoor area that includes fireplace and outdoor kitchen
Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
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Pond House features a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m), spread over three floors
The main kitchen
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The main kitchen
Holly & Smith Architects continues to tweak the home's temperature settings and lighting controls, and is confident it will hit full net zero given some time
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Holly & Smith Architects continues to tweak the home's temperature settings and lighting controls, and is confident it will hit full net zero given some time
Pond House is located on a 15.5 acre (6.27 hectare) rural plot in Southeast Louisiana, USA
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Pond House is located on a 15.5 acre (6.27 hectare) rural plot in Southeast Louisiana, USA
"The Pond House is a place where family and friends can come together," says Holly & Smith Architects
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"The Pond House is a place where family and friends can come together," says Holly & Smith Architects
The home is clad in limestone textured stucco and polycarbonate panels, and at night produces an effect aptly likened to a glowing lantern by the architects
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The home is clad in limestone textured stucco and polycarbonate panels, and at night produces an effect aptly likened to a glowing lantern by the architects
View gallery - 14 images

The recently-completed Pond House at Ten Oaks Farm is located on a large rural plot in Southeast Louisiana, USA. Created by Louisianan firm Holly & Smith Architects, the stunning home boasts an enviable blend of luxury and energy-efficient design in a bid to reach net zero energy consumption.

Pond House comprises a total floorspace of 1,250 sq ft (116 sq m) spread over three floors, and is defined by an angular form and two protruding volumes. The home is clad in limestone-textured stucco and polycarbonate panels, and when the lights are on at night produces an effect aptly likened to a glowing lantern by the architects.

The interior layout is interesting. The first floor features an outdoor space with fireplace and outdoor kitchen, while the second floor includes a living room, kitchen, and dining room. The home is topped by a master bedroom and terrace. A high-end finish is installed throughout, and the uncovered aluminum and glazing contrasts nicely with the wood and utilitarian polycarbonate panels.

Pond House's 14-degree sloping roof serves a practical purpose, channeling rainwater runoff into the pond below and ensuring that maximum sunlight reaches the roof-based solar array. Other nods to energy-efficiency include a geothermal heat pump, LED lighting, spray foam insulation, and operable windows that are situated at strategic points to promote cross-ventilation.

The interior layout is noteworthy and furnished with high-end materials
The interior layout is noteworthy and furnished with high-end materials

Holly & Smith Architects told Gizmag that while the goal is energy net zero (that is, the total amount of energy used by the building yearly is approximately equal to the renewable energy produced on the site), Pond House isn't quite there yet. However, over 10 months of usage, the home only racked up a total of US$250 in electricity charges – or 870 kWh over net zero – so it's getting close.

On sunny days, Pond House produces an excess of electricity, which is fed back into the grid, while on cloudy days or at night, it draws juice from the grid. Holly & Smith Architects continue to tweak the home's temperature settings and lighting controls, and are confident it will reach full net zero in time.

Source: Holly & Smith Architects

View gallery - 14 images
7 comments
Daishi
If net zero is only a matter of producing as much energy as it uses why not just biggie size the solar array? As far as 1,250 square foot houses go that one looks pretty cool though.
Peter Kelly
I have an easy way to improve the energy efficiency of this house... ...build it in the Sahara so you get masses of solar power, oh, and go to bed when it gets dark...
What do you mean, that's silly?
No more than suggesting a hugely expensive house, only affordable by the very few and profligate rich, is in any way 'energy efficient'!
oldguy
Looks like a long walk up those stairs....Creak Creak Creak...(knee sounds)
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is a really nice design. It would be neat to have it on the coast overlooking the ocean.
wanderkip
This is a beautiful and well-integrated design. LOL though, whenever I hear someone use the term "profligate" when describing the wealthy, it usually comes from someone to whom wealth is confusing and unobtainable...
Firehawk70
True wealth, ie. 1‰ style, is unattainable to most of the world's people. This house reeks of "guest house on large estate" and probably cost in the range of $750k to build and furnish, and probably a cool million including the high-end architect. I agree with the prior poster that this is an example of extravagance, not efficiency.
Daishi
@Firehawk70 How expensive the house is depends on where it's built. In Louisiana it might not be as expensive as you think. In some places you can get new 4 bedroom 2,000 square foot houses for $200k. In San Francisco you can't find an apartment for under $750k
Paying an architect to custom build you a one off design is expensive way to go about homebuilding but a contractor could copy the design for a lot less than $750k in Louisiana but at the same time their state bird is the mosquito.