Kenilworth Infill House Mixes Efficiency with a Tight Budget
Many of our clients’ needs are similar: function, efficiency, and style within a limited budget. Our recently completed home in the Kenilworth neighborhood of Asheville, NC sits on a flat infill lot – a rare commodity in our mountain region. As always, we started with the land – a complete analysis including sun, views, drainage, neighboring houses and precisely locating two very stately trees. Then we organized an efficient plan which reflected both our clients’ program and the opportunities provided by the land. Maximizing function while minimizing square footage was critical in getting this design to work on their infill lot and to work within their budget.
Low maintenance and operating costs was also a priority for the Kenilworth infill house. The design used a fully insulated slab on grade foundation and a conventionally framed air-tight building envelope that gives the house a good baseline for energy efficiency. High efficiency lighting, appliances and HVAC system, including a heat exchanger for fresh air, round out the energy saving measures. Rainwater was collected and retained on site.
We also designed a detached garage in harmony with an adjacent 1920s garage on the alley. It contains a small studio apartment that our clients lived in while the house was being built. The apartment is great for guests as well as possible rental income. A high efficiency mini-split HVAC system keeps the heating and cooling costs very low for this space.
Working within an older traditional neighborhood has several advantages including close proximity to community amenities and a mature landscape. Our challenge was to create a design that sits well with the early 20th century homes in the area. The resulting solution has a fresh attitude that interprets and reflects the neighborhood’s character rather than mimicking it. Traditional forms and elements merged with a more modern approach. The neighbors have welcomed both the new homeowners and the new home.