Page E1.1 . 09 September 2009                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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Green House in Georgia

by Lisa Ashmore

In the American South, a region that tends to laud its heritage, modern can be a hard sell. A residential client often hears neighborhood fears that a new modern dwelling will look "chilly" and won't fit in.

RainShine House by architect Robert M. Cain answers those concerns. Built near downtown Decatur, Georgia, part of metro Atlanta, the LEED Platinum-certified home is bright, welcoming, treads lightly on its site, and respects its neighbors.

The house received 108 credits out of a possible 130 in the LEED for Homes pilot program, including all nine possible credits for innovation and design. The 2,800-square-foot (260-square-meter) dwelling is projected to consume just 43 percent of the energy used by a comparable home built to the standards of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and has been Energy Star-certified.

Beautiful, Comfortable, Sustainable

One of the clients' directives was to provide bountiful, yearlong streaming sunlight. Generous glazing throughout the house — including a clerestory that follows the rake of the butterfly roof — delivers this. The motor-operated clerestory windows work in concert with the home's three-zone heating and cooling system, which draws on new geothermal wells.   >>>

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Robert M. Cain, Architect designed the LEED-Platinum certified RainShine House in Decatur, Georgia.
Photo: Paul Hultberg Photography Extra Large Image

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Half of RainShine's butterfly roof encloses a large two-story living room.
Photo: Paul Hultberg Photography Extra Large Image


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