Swede Hill House: LEED-H Silver on Block Island

Designed by architects Estes/Twombly, also of Newport, this 3000-square-foot LEED for Homes project will be located on four protected acres of Block Island, which is just off the coast of Rhode Island and east of Montauk Point.

The Swede Hill House comes to us from Newport, Rhode Island-based design-builders Aquidneck Properties. Designed by architects Estes/Twombly, also of Newport, the 3000-square-foot home will be located on four protected acres of Block Island, which is just off the coast of Rhode Island and east of Montauk Point. The house is situated, as you might have guessed, on a hill that faces both south and west, providing spectacular ocean views back towards Montauk. The Swede Hill House is registered under the LEED for Homes program and will pursue a Silver level of certification from USGBC.

The house itself offers four bedrooms (plus a guest suite, on top of which solar panels will be installed) and is being offered as a single-family residence. Green design features include solar-heated domestic hot water and fifteen percent of all interior heat; the house’s swimming pool is also solar-powered. A graywater system will provide landscape irrigation (though the property does not have a lawn) and all shower heads and toilets are low-flow. Given the high winds that sweep across Block Island, the structural design of the house considers those additional wind loads.

Nevertheless, as you can see in the images, the house will benefit from those winds through a design that both maximizes cross-ventilation, as well as considers other passive solar and daylighting techniques. Efficient HVAC systems will offer a high SEER rating and building materials include locally-sourced stone and reclaimed wood. Nick Downes of Aquidneck estimates that construction costs should check in at around $650 per square foot.

Although the property itself is four acres, the Swede Hill House occupies a relatively small footprint by comparison and appears to be well on its way towards marrying a strong sense of architectural place with green design. Our thanks to Mr. Downes for sharing this beautiful project with us; we’ll continue to check in with Aquidneck as construction commences and proceeds this summer.

About Stephen Del Percio

Stephen Del Percio has written for gbNYC+ since 2006 and currently serves as in-house counsel for one of the world's largest engineering, construction, and technical services companies. He earned a B.Eng. from Columbia, his J.D. at William & Mary, and lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. You can follow Stephen on Twitter, email him at stephen@gbNYC.com, or join gbNYC on Facebook to continue the conversation.

about gbNYC

gbNYC is a multi-disciplinary consulting and real estate services firm. In addition to representing office tenants and commercial buyers in leasing and acquisitions, we also provide innovative consulting solutions from a unique, green building perspective. We advise on green building financial incentives, comment on proposed green building marketing strategies, author white papers, treatises, and market analyses, organize seminars on the LEED process and professional accreditation, and provide advice and analysis on green building risk management and the overall state of green real estate, leasing, and construction, in New York City and beyond.

Our blog, the gbNYC+ journal of real estate, law, + sustainability, delivers consistent, original content - from a New York City perspective - on how technology, data, and sustainability are changing how we interact with our built environment. Subscribe below and receive new articles as they're published or connect with our social media presence to join our ongoing conversation about real estate and sustainability, in the Big Apple and beyond. Contact us at (201) 835-8530 or info@gbNYC.com for more information about our services and to discuss how we can assist you.

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