Omena House

Lake Effect

Sustainable design means working with nature instead of against it. Why shut out breezes and let in the full heat of the sun and then install air conditioning? DF&A’s approach to designing a fully sustainable lake house was to begin with common sense and an awareness of the site, and then to augment nature’s gifts with innovative high-tech solutions. The result, featured in Architecture Daily, was the first private residence in Northern Michigan to achieve LEED-gold certification.

It was also one of the country’s first to use an in-ceiling hydronic radiant heating and cooling system; there’s no traditional forced air HVAC, just a geothermal-powered, thermally-active ceiling that can both heat and cool the house. But only when needed. Most of the time, the Ipe-clad rain screen that covers much of the facade keeps the sun from overheating the house, and the fully operable NanaWall in the main living space channels lake breezes to provide all the passive cooling that’s required.

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