Shaping the Seasons: Eco-Friendly Home Plans

An environmentally friendly version of the New England saltbox


| July/August 2004


Designed and built by architect Linda Moody as her personal residence in Pepperell, Massachusetts, Shaping the Seasons is an environmentally friendly version of the classic New England saltbox. Wood clapboards, double-hung windows, and gables are contextual features of this design. A garden room on the home’s southwest corner is a two-story passive solar space with about ninety square feet of south-facing glass and a crushed stone/bluestone floor that absorbs and stores the sun’s heat, then slowly disperses it at night. On the second floor, the master bath features a whirlpool tub surrounded by windows. In the master bedroom, cathedral ceilings and triple French doors give a feeling of expansiveness.

Though the floor plan is open, it allows for intimate spaces, including bump-outs for a piano nook and a reading alcove off the dining room. Varying ceiling heights and planes make each space feel different. The kitchen, for example, has a low ceiling of tongue-and-groove one-by-six pine and is open to the living room, which has a pine cathedral ceiling. An upstairs mezzanine overlooks the living room.

A brick masonry woodstove provides most of the heat for the house. It burns efficiently and cleanly, and the brick acts as thermal mass, retaining heat to release throughout the day and night. Passive cooling is provided through a combination of ventilation and shading. The roof’s large two-foot overhang provides summer shade, as does a large screened porch on the west. Along with operable skylights in the cathedral ceilings, a viewing turret above the second floor expels hot air at the high point of the house. With its double-hung windows, 270-degree view, and skylight above, you feel as if you are sitting on top of the world.

Meet the architect
Linda Moody
Linda Moody & Associates Architects
Pepperell, Massachusetts

What were you hoping to achieve in this home design?

I wanted to feel a connection to nature from anywhere in the house. I wanted my home to have a spacious, open floorplan (nothing claustrophobic!), but with intimate spaces and a seamless transition between nature and tempered indoor space. There is no place inside my home that you can’t see outside to nature. In addition, I wanted a home that was reasonable in cost to build and economical to maintain.





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