The Silver Residence stands as a remarkable testament to the integration of contemporary architecture, high-performance buildings, and our connection to the natural world. Nestled in a small meadow next to a picturesque pond and seasonal creek, this award-winning, net-zero energy home fosters a deep relationship to nature. Further enhanced by its outdoor amenities and its proximity to the Mount Baker Wilderness Area, the property invites the inhabitants to spend time outside recreating and visiting with one another. Upon returning from a day outside, the heated floors, toasty wood stove, and ample communal or private spaces provide a comfortable place for everyone to land.

Photograph by Mikel Amias Photography

 Imagined and designed as a home where the extended family can gather, the Silver Residence has a diverse set of spaces from airy, generous public rooms with 18-foot ceilings to compact bunk rooms for extra guests. One of the most interesting features of this residence is the cozy gallery that connects the three distinct “buildings.” With floor to ceiling window walls, the gallery serves as an inspirational bridge between the rooms that draws your attention to the meadow and forest beyond. The home’s artful mixture of spaces serves a purpose beyond giving the visitor a choice between intimate or larger, communal rooms. It also subtly reflects the distinctions between the three “buildings’’ interconnected by the gallery. Each area contains its own unique identity while maintaining their physical and stylistic connection to the rest of the building. 

Behind the lovely facade and architectural design are the bones and equipment of a high-performance home. With its low carbon footprint, comfortable year-round temperatures, healthy indoor air, minimal operating costs, and low maintenance exteriors, this home improves the lives of the owners while reducing their impact. 

Photograph by Mikel Amias Photography

The Silver Residence reaches these objectives using several strategies including a well-sealed framing envelope, a layer of continuous cork insulation immediately under the siding, an air-to-water heat pump for the radiant floor heating, a heat recovery continuous ventilation system, and a small battery-backed photovoltaic solar panel system. We expect the Silver Residence to be an enduring, comfortable retreat for its owners and their guests for years to come. 

Architect: Not/Applicable Projects 

Contractor: Bellingham Bay Builders 

Energy Modeler: Ecoe Company 

Photography: Mikel Amias Photography 

Home Certifications: EnergyStar and Zero Energy Ready Home

Awards: 2023 National Home Innovation Award for U.S. Department of Energy