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Little house in the woods

Little house in the woods
Little house in the woods
A park to its East and a beautiful flower garden to its West
 
Washington, D.C.
Architect: E.B. Green
Contractor: N/A General
Products used: 32 VELUX skylights/roof windows

This project is a house that I designed and built for my family, with an eye to incorporating years of saved-up ideas, and utilizing the latest in green building principles. Although geographically located in the center of Washington, D.C., it sits across from a 100 year old, 2000-acre National Park known as "Rock Creek". As such, it is only 15 minutes from the White House, yet can have the feeling of being far out in the countryside. Indeed, my children have dubbed the project: "the little house in the woods".
Washington, D.C.
Architect: E.B. Green
Contractor: N/A General
Products used: 32 VELUX skylights/roof windows

This project is a house that I designed and built for my family, with an eye to incorporating years of saved-up ideas, and utilizing the latest in green building principles. Although geographically located in the center of Washington, D.C., it sits across from a 100 year old, 2000-acre National Park known as "Rock Creek". As such, it is only 15 minutes from the White House, yet can have the feeling of being far out in the countryside. Indeed, my children have dubbed the project: "the little house in the woods".
The site has the park to its East and a beautiful flower garden to its West. I saw the potential right away to not only use VELUX products to exploit these opposite views, but also to actually design the rooms and exterior around the skylights/roof windows. The result is dramatic not only in the appearance it gives the house from the outside, but also for the drama and delight it achieves from the inside. My hope is that the almost completed state of the project still allows you to see the beauty that will show once all is in place.

What are the results with 32 VELUX skylights/roof windows, many of them in copper, situated in an unusual way? The north wing is a 25' x 25' entertainment room that gets fully bathed in light morning and evening. The upstairs den is a 14' x 14' room with two opposing banks of 606 roof windows. In summer with both banks opened up, it feels like an outside porch. In winter, one can lie on the couch and look at the falling snow. The family room/kitchen is a 34' x 14' room bathed in light all day with wonderful cross breezes that can blow through the room. The hearth room/south wing has light coming in from above washing the interior painted brick walls in soft natural light.

By situating opposing banks of skylights/roof windows in areas with cathedral ceilings, we have introduced natural ventilation and lighting, solar heating in the winter, and solar reduction in the summer (using a combination of exterior awnings and interior shades). The result is fabulous.

Finally the real cherry on the sundae is on the top! The upper floor has four 606 roof windows ganged 2 over 2, with an 808 roof window on each side. The feel is like being up in a tree house with views to the adjacent hills and the stream below. It truly is a beautiful space.