Projects: Single Family Residences

Private Residence
Rensselaerville, New York

RGR designed a new house in the Catskill community of Rensselaerville intended to maximize energy conservation and sustainability. The 180-acre wooded site provided a beautiful setting for this modern structure with large expanses of glass, framing spectacular views. The house is sited on the southeast slope of the highest point on the property, allowing it to take advantage of prevailing summer breezes, but also to be protected from the Northwest winter wind. The linear structure, oriented on an east-west axis, is organized with the living spaces along the south façade and the support spaces along the north façade. The roof overhangs and sun screens were crafted to shade the high summer sun and allow the low winter sun to penetrate the rooms along the south façade.

Photovoltaic panels, mounted on the roof, provide electricity and flat panels provide hot water for the domestic hot water system. Though the house is connected to the local utility grid, the house is essentially self-sustaining. The exterior red cedar siding and mahogany decks were treated with natural oils for solar protection rather than paint or stain and the roofing material is "self healing" lead coated copper, which should last the life of the house.

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