Contemporary Vernacular

This contemporary interpretation of a dogtrot gets a head start in sustainability by incorporating vernacular passive strategies while creating a modern regionalism.  The vernacular dogtrot form takes advantage of increased wind at building corners by having two buildings connected by a porch. The buildings are oriented to funnel the prevailing breezes through the central porch.  The 700 s.f. main house and 285 s.f. guest room lives much larger with the addition of the 530 s.f. porch. The house is designed to be net zero when the solar panels are installed.

Dogtrot Cottage

The clients wanted to downside in their retirement and be connected to the land. The rural site is on the edge of a tidal creek one island back from the Atlantic Ocean. The dogtrot was a vernacular building form that was created from necessity. The coastal South’s harsh, hot, humid, flood and hurricane prone conditions demanded buildings whose form responded to prevailing breezes, sun angles, vegetation and water. The cottage is located on the water’s edge facing east west in order to capture the prevailing breezes off the water which are funneled through the dogtrot porch.

High Performance

The house is raised three and a half feet above the 100 year base flood elevation. The meandering ramp graciously connects the raised house to the land. The house is designed to withstand 140 mph winds and be self-sufficient with installation of solar panels and backup batteries. The butterfly roof captures the rainfall and collects it in cisterns in the crawl space.

In a note from the client, she said, “And that dogtrot porch – I am sitting out here now and the breeze is phenomenal – it’s the best napping spot in the house.”