The house-in-a-hollow isn’t really in a hollow– it’s on a knoll, above protected wetlands, just northeast of Bellingham. The hollow is formed by the trees, which were preserved to shield the house from overheating, and to conserve the flora of the native wetlands. 

Measuring 1,950 square feet, this Department of Energy-certified, net-zero clerestory design has a central kitchen and a first floor aging-in-place floor plan. Designed for an Alaskan couple whose love of the outdoors demanded a house that fully engaged with the landscape, plenty of daylight is admitted, and access to outdoor living is easy. 

Most of the house is downstairs, leaving two bedrooms, a full bathroom and a rec-room upstairs for family visits, grandchildren to play Legos, old friends to take up residence, or perhaps an office if needed… 

TC Legend Homes has a passion for doing things differently. We believe in a carbon neutral future. We dream big and see possibilities beyond the status quo. We’ve spent years refining our net-zero-energy home design approach, and we haven’t waited a moment for the industry or building codes to catch up. We are proud to be pioneers of net-zero-energy home building and design in the Pacific Northwest.  

Advances in TC’s mechanical systems determined that the radiant tubes embedded in the 4-inch concrete slab will serve as a back-up heating system to handle abrupt cold snaps, with the day-to-day heat and cool being delivered via the Zehnder Comfopost (a heating/cooling coil that sits in the ventilation delivery ducts). The Comfopost coil is driven by the Chilltrix CX34 heat pump, along with a further fan coil heat/cool unit located in the second floor rec room. 

The high-efficiency frame and envelope of the house (also known as the energy shell) is formed using the following system: 6.5-inch structural insulated panel (SIP) walls, and a 10.25-inch SIP roof with 4-inch slab-on-grade concrete-mass insulated from below with 4 inches of R20 foam. The openings are plugged with Vinytek triple pane Boreal windows & Thermatrue fiberglass doors. 

TC Legend built this net-zero house through the winter of 2020/2021. The SIP roof panels swung in on a crane through the blowing snow, and it took Ted (co-owner of TC Legend) six months for the feeling to return to his fingers!  

The owners planted more than 1,000 native trees and shrubs in the chilling March rain, and the crew scooped up the mud and maintained the new 700-foot driveway to this remote and beautiful lot– a true gem in the Pacific Northwest. 

Designed by Jake Evans and Ted Clifton,