MJ House

Developing this home as both the Architect and General Contractor, it was designed to meet the client’s desire for a home with a contemporary edge yet have a natural tactile approach while also meeting rigorous sustainability goals.

Tucked away on a hillside urban lot in Cincinnati, the home reaches vertically to take advantage of valley views, create a structurally efficient footprint, and provide for several outdoor living spaces that are cantilevered off of the rear of the home to float among the trees.

The interior and exterior use materials that are both sustainable and tactile to provide a natural interaction for the occupants. On the exterior, Juniper lumber, with its warm, rich tones and being one of the most naturally durable woods, is used for the decks, siding and soffit. On the interior, reclaimed floor decking and beams are used both in finish and structural design along with bamboo cabinet faces, concrete counters, and reclaimed tile in the kitchen. These materials, along with the use of no-VOC paints and natural Tung oil finishes, are accentuated by the open floor plan and stairs along the South side, which give the sense of a bright airiness.

Following both PassiveHaus and LEED design guidelines, the home uses passive design strategies, air tight and minimized thermal bridging through construction with structural insulated panels, and insulated frame triple-pane low-e windows among other energy efficiency strategies to reduce heating and cooling needs to a single ¾ ton, single zone mini-split heat pump and energy recovery ventilator. Along with all LED lighting, and heat pump domestic water heating, the energy consumption is reduced to the point of needing only a small PV system on the third floor roof to reach net-zero.
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