Exteriors of earth-toned stucco, reclaimed metal, and wood trim lend an immediate rustic appeal to the five homes in Sunfish Park, an appropriate aesthetic for the area’s backdrop of lake and mountains. That blending with nature, along with the community’s similar-yet-different approach to the individual home styles, won over the jury. “The basic principle behind this development was to create unique structures that share common materials and detailing,” explains the designer, “allowing the developer to closely control building costs through repetition, but allowing each structure to read as a unique home in a neighborhood setting.”

By working out conceptual house and lot sizes before final site platting, the designers ensured each modest dwelling makes use of the expansive views and passive solar—but without looking directly into neighboring units.

Natural-gas boilers and in-slab radiant heat provide comfort despite the cold climate, with help from staggered-stud wall framing that reduces thermal bridging and a robust insulation package using closed-cell low-VOC spray urethane in the walls (R-38) and ceilings (R-52 to R-56). Energy-efficient appliances and lighting were speced throughout, reducing electrical loads augmented by the 1.45-kW PV systems installed in each home.

Click here to see all the 2011 EHDA winners