Energy Efficient Cabin Under Construction

An energy efficient small mountain cabin is currently under construction on a steep site overlooking Bottle Bay, east of Sandpoint on Lake Pend Oreille.  Scott Schriber of Selle Valley Construction and his crew are hard at work on this 1700 square foot eclectic cabin that promises to fulfill the owners long held dream of moving to the area and living in a high performance home populated with reclaimed fixtures and funky furnishings.

This highly energy efficient three bedroom cabin, designed by Hendricks Architecture, is being constructed using the Remote wall system, which utilizes a thick layer (or several layers) of exterior foam insulation sheathing to minimize or eliminate thermal bridging.  Scott is a big proponent of the system, and it was an easy sell to the owners who knew they wanted a high performance energy efficient home.

Cabin Side Elevation

Cabin Side Elevation

This cabin will most likely qualify for gold level certification under the National Association of Home Builders Green Standard.  Selle Valley Construction has built several Green Certified homes, and Scott was a driving force in choosing the innovative construction systems that are employed in this cabin. In addition to the remote wall system, this cabin is being built using advanced framing techniques, raised heel trusses, and locally sourced cedar siding.  The design called for rusted corrugated steel siding used as a wainscot around the entire cabin, and Scott’s wife Barb Schriber worked with the owners to find reclaimed material for this application.

The owners have done a lot of work on their own, collecting numerous old plumbing fixtures, doors, and the like to use in their dream cabin. While this project does rely on some new technologies and devices to help reduce its impact, part of the green strategy is to utilize recycled or reclaimed goods as much as is practical, especially when it contributes to the eclectic character they are striving for.

The cabin has a large deck that faces the lake, as well as a covered screen porch for enjoying fresh air and early summer nights when the weather or mosquitoes can make being outside unpleasant. The screen porch was one of the owner’s favorite parts of the house, and despite a tight budget, they insisted on keeping this vital outdoor living space. The location of the cabin was forced by setbacks and steep topography, and as a result the deck and screen porch hover dramatically over the forest below.

Cabin & Deck Under Construction

Cabin & Deck Under Construction

Inside, a loft above the private spaces is open to the vaulted Great Room/ Kitchen below. The loft is primarily intended as a playroom for the grand-kids, but was designed with a couple opposing shed dormers to provide natural light and an area with enough headroom to house bunk beds. A heat recovery ventilator in a closet above the entry will help draw heat to the loft from the ductless heat pump located on the south wall of the great room. The heat pump and a wood stove in the great room should easily heat the entire cabin.

We are seeing a lot of interest in smaller energy efficient homes in North Idaho. If a new cabin or mountain home is in your future, we would love to talk to you about helping to make it a reality.

Tom Russell, Architect LEED AP

Hendricks Architecture specializes in the design of timber mountain style homes and cabins.  Most of the homes we’ve completed are in mountain resort areas throughout the West.  If you are interested in a mountain home, or you have any other inquiries, please contact us.

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