Garden House

Durham, NC

The addition/renovation design of this spacious residence brought new life and energy efficiency after a devastating fire. Views and increased access to gardens influenced many of the design decisions, and the resulting home rests comfortably among beautiful, well-established gardens. A new master bedroom wing, living room ‘bump-out,’ screen porch and large, south facing deck extend the house’s footprint out into the spectacular grounds. These new interior and exterior spaces accommodate the flow of large parties and cozy, intimate events. A custom fabricated south-facing trellis covers the deck, creating a spacious outdoor room and allowing the sun in during the winter while blocking it in summer.

Geothermal heating and cooling brings exceptional energy efficiency. A ventless attic, sealed crawl space, spray foam insulation, solar hot water heater and sun-shading devices further reduce energy consumption. Materials such as reclaimed-wood floors, sustainably harvested wood framing, low VOC paints and finishes, a home management system for efficient lighting and HVAC control, and a fresh air ventilation and energy recovery system make this home a model of sustainable design.

General Contractor: New Dimensions Construction

Header photo © Michael Mills



  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Ventless attic
  • Sealed crawl space
  • Solar hot water
  • Sun-shading devices
  • Reclaimed-wood floors
  • Sustainably harvested wood
  • Low VOC materials
  • Home management system for efficient lighting and HVAC control
  • Fresh air ventilation and energy recovery system
  • Spray-foam insulation