This ICF (Integrated Concrete Forms) cottage is based on Bob Chatham’s “Fairhope Green Home” design. The owners liked the design and floor plan of the Green Home cottage and Bob adapted the plans to meet their needs and lifestyle.
The overall goal of the project was to build a house that was congruent with Fairhope's traditional cottage-style designs and was structurally certified to withstand a Category 5 Hurricane. The owners also wanted to incorporate the most energy efficient HVAC, lighting and appliances available in order to have a truly energy efficient home. Additional goals included utilizing repurposed and reclaimed materials and existing pine and pecan trees on the one-acre lot for outside and inside wood trim and shelving.
The one-acre lot had to have approximately 45 to 50 mature pine trees removed for the house and garage construction. The owners decided to mill the trees on the lot with the help of a local contractor who operates a portable saw mill that was brought to the site. Ninety percent of the house interior trim as well as the the front and rear porch ceilings are from the mature pine trees cut down on the lot. In addition, the pecan fireplace mantle, living room bookshelf counters, the kitchen island and the breakfast bar counter top corbels were milled from a dead pecan tree from the neighbors back yard. In addition to the reclaimed pine from the lot, the floors throughout the house and upstairs garage apartment are 1850 heart pine reclaimed from beams from a Kentucky textile mill and were milled locally.
The owners are originally from Chicago and they found an ad on Craigslist selling 12,000 1960 vintage bricks from the Chicago Brick Company. The bricks were removed from a fire damaged apartment building in Pensacola and transported to Fairhope for the living room fireplace, facing around the foundation, front walkway, and rear walkways that lead to backyard patio and pizza oven.
The house also has a 3 ton WaterFurnace Geothermal heat pump HVAC system and 10+ inches of Demilec soy based spray foam insulation in the roof. In the event of a power outage, the home and garage have a 20KW GE natural gas generator that provides full operation.
The finished home has exceeded the design and energy efficiency goals. The 3200 sq. ft. home averages less than $100 per month in electricity costs.