There is something very satisfying about a compact and efficient cottage, especially here in the lowcountry where most of us would rather be outside most of the time. This little house will serve as a guest cottage with rental potential after the owners build a bigger place on their land. It’s really got everything you need though, and with all those solar panels on a house that is just over 800 square feet, you can bet it’ll be net-zero!

The clients on this project are interested in using hempcrete, which is a lightweight, cementitious insulating material made from the stalks of hemp plants and lime. We are still learning about hempcrete, but it seems like a wonder-product. The raw materials are renewable, it sequesters carbon, it insulates well. We are very intrigued, and will report back about the practicality of using it.

The Lowcountry cottage clients decided they wanted a little more space, including a full second bedroom rather than a loft, so here’s version two. It is a dogtrot plan (our favorite vernacular form, read more here). The dogtrot space between the two buildings is unenclosed. The breezes funneling through the outdoor space will make it a lovely spot to dine, relax and watch the sunset. The butterfly roof will capture rainwater in a cistern. The collected rainwater will be utilized as gray water for irrigation, etc on the property, with an additional benefit of keeping the stormwater from running off into the marsh.

See what else is on our boards here.