Efficient Family Home > This 2,400 SF four-bedroom house, located on a 15-acre sloping site in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, was designed for a growing family on a tight budget. The house sits high on the hill, improving views and leaving majority of the land available for growing hay. Willoughby Gap dominates the panoramic view, enjoyed from the main living areas. A simple building form and structural system address budget constraints. The narrow plan eliminates interior columns. Except for the minimal disruption of the stair, joists and roof trusses span the width and march down the length of the house. The economical gable form is a reinterpretation of local vernacular buildings. A tracking grid-tied solar array provides power. Two air-source heat pumps heat the house, with a small wood stove providing backup heat. Floor grates, salvaged from a renovation project, allow heat to move up to the second floor. All the bedrooms have provision for installing radiant ceiling panels for supplemental heat, though these have not yet been necessary. An HRV provides balanced ventilation, and a heat pump water heater supplies domestic hot water. Designed interior and exterior features are being implemented as time and budget allow. Salvaged stone and steel steps at the front and back doors provide exterior access to the main level. A custom wood railing protects the second floor opening above the front door.