home of distinction
Above, left: Cisterns below the home store up to 9,500 gallons of collected rainwater, which is used to irrigate the lawn and planters. Above:
Built to look like a chimney, the light shaft on the eastern side of the house brightens the living space.
demand on the mini-split AC units installed throughout the house.
There is no central HVAC in the home. DeChesere and Smith
opted instead for strategically placed mini-split units, which allow
them to heat or cool just the section of the home they need at any
Flores & Foley Roofing installed the light gray aluminum roof
on the home. Metal roofs have a longer lifespan than conventional
shingles and can be recycled when the time comes to replace them.
Solar panels on the roof capture enough energy to heat all the water
for the house via an evacuated tube system. The system works
much more efficiently than a flat solar panel and retains heat even
on cloudy days. Smith and DeChesere have never run out of hot
water or had to supplement with electricity, even when guests are
adding to the demand.
materials to support Habitat’s mission of assisting families in need
A tour of the house is an education in eco-friendly home build-ing.
That is, if you’re interested and inquisitive. Because aside from
solar panels on the roof, there’s nothing the average observer might
recognize as especially “green.” The modern industrial farmhouse is
a merging of styles with sustainability built into the design, materi-als,
and uses of the space.
The white trim on the home’s exterior reflects a classic coastal
look, but the material is revolutionary. Rather than wooden
planks or vinyl lookalikes, the slender “boards” on the exterior
are Boral Polyash, a composite material with a near-infinite lifes-pan.
Not only is it made from 70% recycled materials, polyash
is touted as resistant to water, bugs, and warping, making it ideal
for Southeastern North Carolina’s climate. The beige shingles
that make up the rest of the exterior are a durable, fully recyclable
One of the most important elements of energy efficiency is one
you never see. Foam insulation provides maximum energy effi-ciency,
keeping conditioned air in the house and decreasing the