The electricity the wind turbine
generates powers the house. Any
excess flows to the local power
grid, which issues them an
energy credit. Last year, the
turbine generated 6,657
kilowatt-hours and the house
used 7,081, for a net use of 424
hours. The total electric bill for
the year, which included heat
and hot water, was about $60.
An electric-powered, ground-source heat pump generates
heat for hot water and the
radiant system. The 50-degree
groundwater is heated to only 90
degrees for use in the low-temperature radiant system.
By way of contrast, conventional
electric baseboards are heated
to 180 degrees, which requires
far more energy.
Energy- 10 simulation software
helps architects quickly identify
energy-efficient strategies such
as passive solar heating and
Pill used Energy- 10, plugging in
the building’s mass, location,
and type of heating, to calibrate
the precise balance of windows
For at least half the year, a
clothesline is used to dry
laundry. Other energy-saving
details: An exhaust system keeps
the home ventilated without
opening windows in winter, and
shower drains are outfitted with
copper coils that reclaim heat
from the used hot water.
& Board Company in Williston tops the work island, and artisans
at Red Concrete in Burlington crafted the pigmented concrete
In moving from suburban Boston to Vermont, Pill and Maharam made a deliberate choice to leave one lifestyle for another.
The house they built and the life they’re living in a quiet corner
of the Green Mountains reflect that. Though they’ve made lots of
friends, they spend most of their free time at home.
“We like to be on our land and explore it,” says
Pill. “Being outside, being connected to the landscape, is a big piece of who we are.” With each turn-
ing season, they feel a stronger link to their home and to Charlotte.
“In Winchester, hundreds of people lived within a mile of our
house,” says Pill, “but we only knew a handful of our neighbors.
Today, we live in a place that’s far more rural; the people are all
spread out, yet we feel a much stronger sense of community.”
“Part of that is where we are now, in our lives,” adds Maharam.
“When you’re younger, you just sort of arrive at your first place;
you land there. As you get older, you often come to a place because
you’ve made decisions about who you are and how you want to live
your life. We’ve come to this place with a much stronger sense of
who we are and the things we want to move toward.”