House in a Hollow

About This Project

The house-in-a-hollow isn’t really in a hollow, it’s on a knoll, above protected wetlands, northeast of Bellingham. The hollow is formed by the trees, which were preserved to shield the house from overheating, and to conserve the flora of the native wetlands.

Measuring 1950 square feet, this Department-of-Energy certified Net Zero clerestory design has a central kitchen and a 1st floor aging-in-place floorplan. Designed for an Alaskan couple whose love of the outdoors demanded a house that fully engaged with the landscape, plenty of daylight is admitted & access to outdoor living is easy.

Most of the house is downstairs, leaving (2) bedrooms, a full bathroom and a rec-room upstairs for family visits, grandchildren to play Lego, perhaps an office if needed, old friends to take up residence…

Advances in TC’s mechanical systems determined that the radiant tubes embedded in the 4” concrete slab will serve as a back-up heating system to handle abrupt cold snaps, with the day-to-day heat & cool being delivered via the Zehnder Comfopost, a heating/ cooling coil that sits in the ventilation delivery ducts. The Comfopost coil is driven by the Chilltrix CX34 heatpump, along with a further fancoil heat/ cool unit located in the 2nd floor rec-room.

The energy-shell is formed using the system: 6.5” SIPs walls, 10.25” SIPs roof,’ with 4” slab-on-grade concrete-mass insulated from below with 4” of R20 foam. The openings are plugged with Vinytek triple pane Boreal windows & Thermatrue fiberglass doors.

TC Legend built this net-zero house through the winter of 2020/ 2021. The SIPs roof panels swung in on a crane through the blowing snow, Ted now reporting feeling has returned to his fingers, 6 months later! The owners planted over 1000 native trees and shrubs in the chilling March rain, and the crew scooped up the mud and maintained the new 700’ driveway to this remote & beautiful lot: A gem in the Pacific Northwest.