Zero-Energy on Bay Road, Harwich, MA


Over in Harwich, we’re taking a small cottage and adding a 350 SF footprint addition to it while also updating the energy-efficiency of the entire structure. The goal is for the home to be half shut-down during the winter season with a minimal heat-load being put to work during the coldest parts of the year and when the minimum amount of occupants will be there, and then for the home to be opened up for summer use when the number of occupants increases and the heating load is non-existent.


New England, New England...

One night you’re coordinating everything and thinking, “Probably just going to rain, maybe be a little messy in the early morning, but we should be good to go by 9:00 or so….” and the next morning you wake up and start thinking, “Huh…wonder if we’ll get to work again before next week….”. Surprise, surprise. What we thought would be a little mix of rain and snow turned into a Nor’easter that stalled right above Cape Cod (and particularly stalled over the town of Harwich) for 24 hours straight and dumped 35” inches of snow on us in that time frame with drifts up to 5’ high. So, we’re cleaning out for a few days before we can continue, but we’re hustling nonetheless. Onwards and upwards. Literally, with the roof.


Framing on our Net-Zero Energy, Harwich hybrid-ish home

Ted Cushman, a freelance writer who is well known in the passivehaus world and who I am a fan of through various social medias, contacted me a few months ago and has since been hanging out on a couple of our projects documenting a few things to various degrees. In his latest article he’s documenting the beginning stages of the loft framing for this home. Mike Hill, who worked for me for a few years previously and is now out on his own, has been hired for the framing of the 300 SF addition to this home which will feature exposed, finished Douglas Fir beams. After nearly a year of planning with the homeowner and architects, it’s nice to see some physical things shaping up here. We should conclude the framing of the addition in a week or two, and then we’ll have another six months to completion of the entire larger renovation. In the end, we anticipate this home being a Net-Zero Energy build.

Check out the article here.


Starting at the bottom...

With things getting underway at this Bay Rd site in Harwich, Ted Cushman from Journal of Light Construction is following along and documenting everything. You can read all about the beginnings of what is going to be an amazing home for Peggy right here in the magazine: The goal is to turn Peggy’s home into a Net-Zero Energy dwelling, as well as the apartment unit in the barn on her property. A lofty goal…but we’ll reach it.


Adding 350 SF but hugely increasing the use of the home...

This project is underway for Peggy and the first steps are getting the new addition with its 12’ walls framed and tight-to-the-weather prior to fully breaking through to the existing cottage and undertaking that end of the renovation as well. Footings and foundations are in, walls are being stood, the race is on to get the roof framed in before March so we can install the PV panels as soon as possible.


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