Style Watch

Sustainable in Scituate

Photovoltaics on the roof and loads of insulation make this Shingle Style beauty the picture of energy efficiency.

“The house has minimal decorative flourishes,” says Alessi. “But what was saved in that regard was spent on making it extremely energy-efficient.”

Dan Cutrona

“The house has minimal decorative flourishes,” says Alessi. “But what was saved in that regard was spent on making it extremely energy-efficient.”

Dan Cutrona

CHARMING IN ITS SIMPLICITY, the weathered 1930s cottage that sat on this coastal Scituate lot had character that appealed to its new owners, but it was too cramped to accommodate their family of four. “There were structural issues that made salvaging the house impractical,” says Alison Alessi of Dennis-based A3 Architects, who was hired to design a more spacious and energy-efficient residence. Built on a budget, the new, uberinsulated 2,600-square-foot house harnesses the sun to produce energy. While the home’s sustainable elements give it a modern sensibility, its Shingle Style facade honors the architecture of the original structure.

1 >FLOORS ARE MADE OF “character maple,”which shows slight imperfections.


2 >WHITE CABINETS were bought at Hingham Lumber. “It’s not their dream kitchen, but they can go back in 10 years and update,” says Alessi. “You don’t really get another chance to redo the insulation or other energy-saving things.”

Dan Cutrona

3 >WALLS ARE 12 INCHES THICK — about double the building code requirements — to allow for maximum spray-foam insulation.

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4 >THE YELLOW VIKING RANGE was a rare splurge for the owners, who love to cook.

5 >THE WOOD-TOPPED ISLAND has a green-painted bead-board base that recalls the colors and cottagey feel of the kitchen in the original house.

6 >THE CEDAR SHINGLE-CLADHOUSE looks like it belongs in the neighborhood.


7 >A THIRD-FLOOR BALCONY offers a panoramic view of the ocean across the street.

8 >THE SIZABLE FRONT PORCH fits right in with the village streetscape and is accessible through the living, kitchen, and dining areas on the first level.

9 >PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PANELS on the south-facing roof generate nearly 70 percent of the home’s electricity. “Since so much electricity is produced on the roof, we designed an all-electric house,” says Alessi. Electric pumps are used for heating, cooling, and hot water.

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