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An outside view of Wayne Turett’s Passive House in Greenport (Credit: Liz Glasgow).

An architect’s home in the village of Greenport is in the running for the 2022 HGTV Designer of the Year Awards: “Living Large in Small Spaces” category. 

Wayne Turett of the award-winning Turett Collaborative is the owner and principal architect of this contemporary-styled home, and he designed it with his carbon footprint in mind. Concerned about how overconsumption is impacting the environment, Turett set out to build a vacation home using energy-efficient technologies to see just how well they could work. 

Overlooking the Sterling Harbor Basin, this all-electric house is one of Greenport’s first passive houses. A Passive House, known as a Passivhaus in Germany, where the movement started in 1988, follows a voluntary yet strict standard for energy efficiency in a building. They are designed so that only minimal power is needed for heating and cooling. After staying in a passive house during a trip to Berlin, Turett spent three years researching, sketching, and planning one of his own.

“Greenport is more than just an oasis for my family, it is a living model for clients and meant to inspire others,” said Turett. “Despite costing a little more to build, the results of living in a Passive House will more than pay for itself in energy savings and helping the environment.” 

A passive home like Turett’s consumes about 90 percent less heating energy than existing homes and 75 percent less energy than average new construction. Recognized as one of the best paths to net zero, passive homes like Turett’s are constantly being vented and are sealed off from the outside to achieve high air quality and stable temperatures. The envelope — the roof, doors, windows, floors, and walls — must be almost entirely airtight. Maximizing the sun’s energy, Turett also strategically installed roof overhangs to prevent the high summer sun from overheating the house, while allowing the lower-angled winter sun to shine through. Even the roof, which is aluminum standing seam, was intentionally chosen to keep the home insulated during the snowy winter months. 

On an aesthetic level, Turett designed the house in a way that highlights the North Fork’s unique charm. The inside space boasts a modern, neutral color scheme with loft-like rooms and cathedral ceilings, while its historical barn exterior is a nod to the traditional style of Greenport’s village. The main living spaces — the combined kitchen, dining, living rooms, and porch — were intentionally placed upstairs to take in the water views of the historic fishing town. 

Voting for the HGTV Designer of the Year Awards can be done once a day and will be open until September 27. Turett’s passive house is up against nine other homes from around the globe can be found under the title “Home Blends Energy Efficiency + Spectacular Architecture.” To vote for this project, or to learn more about the contest, click here.