Location: York, PA
Project Size: 3,690 SF
Hillcroft is a contemporary residence designed for one floor, open plan living and takes full advantage of passive solar and sustainable design principles. It will be both EnergyStar certified and the first LEED for Homes certified residence in York County, PA.
Hillcroft is built on the last infill lot in a mid-century neighborhood saving undeveloped farmland and preserving natural resources. Storm water is managed on site. The design grid and longitudinal axis of the house is oriented slightly southeast according to passive solar principles. The design grid of the garage, entrance and outdoor living areas is rotated 15 degrees from the perpendicular of the house grid, opening the entrance to the street and providing an front entry court effect. The main roof slope is designed to accommodate future solar panels, and the garage roof is structured to support future green roof modules.
The low, intimate entry opens to a central Great Room with vaulted ceiling accommodating the living, dining and kitchen areas. This concept of intimate entry opening to vaulted ceilings is carried into all major rooms. Smaller, high windows on the north (street) facade maintain privacy while maximizing natural light. Large glass areas to the south (garden) facade orient the living areas to the private yard, maximize solar gain in winter months and bring indoor and outdoor living areas together. Broad overhangs shield the large south-oriented glass areas during summer and minimize water penetration of the siding and foundations around the house. Directly opposite the entry, the Great Room opens onto a screened porch, allowing indoor-outdoor living for more than half of the year and bringing the outdoors inside the remainder of the year.
Borrowed light is a sustainable design feature incorporated throughout the interior: skylights and suntunnels are strategically placed to bring natural light into darker, internal areas, and sliding, etched glass doors allow borrowed light to flood the interiors while maintaining privacy when desired and minimizing the use of artificial light sources. Additional sustainable features which are present throughout the interior includes the extensive use of cork flooring high-efficiency fixtures and LED lighting.
All floors are warmed from below by hot water radiant heat. A geoexchange system provides cooling and supplemental heat during transitional seasons at maximum energy efficiency. The house is insulated with closed cell foam sealing the rim boards and top of foundation walls, continuous rigid insulation inside the basement and crawlspace walls, Zip-R Sheathing which provides an integral outer layer of continuous foam and weather resistant barrier, and Roxul Comfort Batts which provide maximum R-value with the added benefit of superior fire and moisture resistance.
Every aspect of the design has been thoroughly considered to maximize energy efficiency, sustainable features and open, convenient living.