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Sustainable timber cabin with water tank
Entrance to timber clad eco cabin
Close up of timber chairs in front of timber clad eco retreat

This waterfront guest house called Barn Gallery started its life with the deconstruction of a 70s era house. This upcycled, salvaged and energy efficient getaway, designed by Incline Design, is nestled into lush forest on Lopez Island in Washington with the same footprint as the existing dwelling. The new house was built with a limited budget and strict design criteria, dispelling the belief that it always costs more to build sustainably.

Exterior view of timber clad guest house and water tank
Sunset view looking past timber cabin towards water view

This energy efficient home uses heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and heat pump technology, radiant heated floors, rainwater tanks, structural insulated panels, reclaimed materials, thermal mass to regulate internal temperates, huge windows providing natural light, highly air tight building envelope and drought tolerant landscape, resulting in a comfortable island retreat which minimises its heating and cooling requirements.

To complete this project within budget, the architects were required to look at the materials and resources they already at hand. The gorgeous timber cladding was re-sawn salvaged floor joists from the original home, combined with boards sourced from an old warehouse used to store movie props. The original house cladding was sandblasted, white washed and has been used throughout the interior of the new guest house. The rainwater tank, rather than typically being hidden, has been clad in salvaged timber to become a feature of the property.

The home was constructed using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) which allowed for the building envelope to be finished in a speedy 5 days. Aside from being super quick to install, SIPs provide fantastic thermal performance which reduces a buildings heating and cooling costs. These lightweight panels can be used for walls, floors and roofs and are prefabricated which helps to reduce onsite construction waste.

Related project: If you’re interested in sustainable travel, take a look at Mi Cielo Lodge

Timber entertaining deck of timber eco guest house
Red kitchen timber entry portal in sustainable retreat

Sustainability specs:
– Constructed using SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels)
– Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) and heat pump technology
– Radiant heated floors
– Rainwater harvesting
– Using reclaimed wood and metal elements
– Rain garden to capture runoff from sloping terrain and tank overflow
– Energy efficient electrical fittings and appliances
– Water efficient fittings and appliances
– Polished concrete floors used as thermal mass to absorb and store heat energy
– Large windows to capture natural light
– EV charging station
– Drought tolerant landscaping
– Upcycled, salvaged and highly energy efficient

Wooden chair overlooking ocean view
View across timber deck at night towards ocean
Polished concrete floor and large windows in timber eco retreat
Gravel driveway of timber eco guest house
Concrete floor on Ferrari red kitchen
From the architect:

Creating an architectural gem to showcase the green experience

This is where technology meets history. The eight foot pivot front door was fabricated from VG pine planks sourced from a deconstructed 75 year old building in eastern Washington, and you can open it with your smart phone!

Images courtesy of Incline Design. Photography by Steve Horn
Via www.archdaily.com

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