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A sustainable retirement house in Georgia cantilevers out to a tree canopy

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Robert M. Cain, Architect has designed this sustainable retirement house for an architect and her engineer husband, located on ten acres in Hart County, Georgia. The name of this home is Holly Hill, entitled after the numerous American Hollies scattered across the property. This 3,597 square foot, two-bedroom, and three-and-a-half bath dwelling is nestled into the site and contours to maximize views of the lake and minimize the impact on the site.

The home was developed to cater to the hobbies of its inhabitants, gardening, and the restoration of classic cars. The structure is comprised of three wings that are connected via bridges: An architect’s wing that faces a large garden to the east, an engineer’s wing with an automotive workshop and central activity, kitchen, living, and dining wing. Similar to a radiator in design, the plan of the house increases the amount of exterior wall thus maximizing opportunities for natural ventilation during temperate and hot summer months.

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Other passive design features will include extensive eaves, sheltering porches, and high albedo roofs, as strategies for considerably reducing solar heat gain.

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Daylighting with clerestories and solar tubes reduces daytime lighting requirements. Ground-source geothermal heat pumps and superior to code insulation ensure minimal space conditioning costs. Corten siding and concrete foundation walls satisfy client requirements for low maintenance. All light fixtures are LEDs. The design team anticipates achieving LEED Silver certification.

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Open and screened porches are strategically located to enable pleasant outdoor use at any time of day, a particular season, or, if necessary, to screen from insects. Dramatic cantilevers allow the porches to extend into the site’s beautiful mixed hardwood tree canopy.

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Guests arrive by vehicle with glimpses of the house and grounds through penetrations in the concrete wall enclosing the garden. Once parked guests proceed through a garden composed of plantings, pavers, a Koi pond and fountain, benches, and sculptures. On approach to the entry views of the lake can be seen through and below the bridges.

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Essential goals of the homeowners were a sustainable low-maintenance house, primarily single-floor living, orientation to views, natural light to interiors, the establishment of individual privacy, creation of a formal outdoor space for gardening, incorporation of a full workshop for cars, generous indoor and outdoor social space for guests and parties.

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What We Love: This sustainable retirement house is beautifully designed with modern yet warm living spaces. The layout is extremely clever and meets the owners’ needs to perfection. The surroundings are breathtaking, with large windows maximizing these views throughout the home. Overall, an amazing vision and use of space on a woodsy property that provides the ultimate in solitude and privacy.

Tell Us: Would this home be your idea of the ultimate retirement home? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Be sure to have a look at a couple of other fabulous home tours that we have highlighted here on One Kindesign in the state of Georgia: Absolutely dreamy European-style cottage home in woodlands of Georgia and Tour a gorgeous lake house with a coastal farmhouse vibe in Georgia.

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Above: The landscaping on this property consists of all native plants.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Fredrik Brauer

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