August 16, 2016

The Ark at the End of Long Island

Net-Zero + Resilient Meets Modern Design

High performance building is becoming easier to accomplish with every passing day, and we’re in no short supply of aesthetic-driven building projects. But finding a projects that both perform while pleasing the eye is a rarity. The work of Bill Ryall and his team at Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects is an exception, and we couldn’t be more pleased to work with them. They manage to fit genuine storm surge resiliency, net-zero performance, and long-term comfort into a form that catches the eye and allows you to melt in to the scenery at the same time. It shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, their portfolio of work includes some of the most beautiful certified Passive House projects on the planet. As you’ll hear, they “try to achieve this standard of energy efficiency and quality of construction” with all of their projects, integrating high performance into the fabric of what they do – makes it much easier.

I’ll get out of the way and let Bill to the talking. He’s a much better host:

Recipe for airtightness in this project is simple:

The one unique detail you may notice here is the SOLITEX FRONTA QUATTRO membrane is used as an additional layer of weather and UV protection directly behind the open joint vertical siding. FRONTA QUATTRO is a necessity for open joints because other weather resistive barriers cannot be exposed to long-term UV. Typically, we see projects using the FRONTA QUATTRO in place of the MENTO 1000 as the exterior weather barrier, but it was decided to double-up to provide an extra layer of resiliency.

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5 Responses to The Ark at the End of Long Island

  1. Bob Swinburne August 18, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Very nice – RPS is one of my top five firms for design. I love the fact that they are doing high level building science as well. I toured their Guilford VT projects last year.

  2. Andy Shapiro August 18, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Am I missing something? Seems to me this kind of glass box gives Net Zero a bad name. We can power anything with PV if we throw enough PV at it. Is that what we are working toward? What EUI is expected for this building — before PV power is considered? How much PV is anticipated to be required?

    • Ken September 7, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Andy,
      While the glass is dramatic it really isn’t a glass box – there is a fair amount of opaque surface, it’s just not in the dramatic shots. The project will have a 9kW peak solar system that will produce 11,000kWh per year. Estimated heating demand: 5kBTU/sf*yr and cooling demand (with good shading on the east windows, which is planned) of 1kBTU/sf*yr. For the 2400SF house this is 14,400kBTU, which is 4,220kWh. This leaves plenty for hot water, plug loads etc.
      So, while things could be easier without a glass wall – given the location, views and client ambition, we think it strikes a reasonable balance.

    • Ken September 8, 2016 at 8:52 am #

      Correction – the heating demand is estimated at about 5BTU/sf*yr and the cooling demand is approx 1kBTU/sf*yr. I”m updating the text above accordingly.

  3. Laura Briggs August 18, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    I love it. Beautiful and thoughtful design. Shows there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to net zero

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