LEED Certified Home: Passive House Retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island

May we please stay here forever?

There are vacation homes, and then there are Vacation Homes. The Passive House Retreat in Little Compton, Rhode Island certainly falls into the latter category.

Indeed, people who are looking to get away from it all often find that “it all” ends up following them anyway. They’ll vacation in overcrowded, tourist-ridden spots, depriving them of the chance to get some real R&R. We wouldn’t blame these people for wanting a vacation from their vacation.

Fortunately, this gem of a structure has plenty of open space to give it major zen vibes.

This LEED Gold Certified house was designed by Boston-based ZeroEnergy Design (ZED) within the Passive House standard, which focuses on creating a low-energy home (think green), according to the company’s website.

“This private retreat and vacation residence located in a beautiful community on the New England coast features high performance and efficient use of space in a small package,” the architecture firm states on its website. “The client sought a two bedroom, two bath home that was right sized for their family—nothing more, nothing less. They also had a goal of minimizing the home's energy use.”

Completed in July of 2011, the structure has more than 1,200 square feet of space and the theme both within and without is light and airy. No other structures crowd the area. There is plenty of room to run around outside under plenty of open sky. A porch area looks over an open field.

(Oh, and FYI, Little Compton, Rhode Island looks like it would give Prince Edward Island à la “Anne of Green Gables” a run for its money.)

“The generous amount of south-facing windows maximize solar heat gain in the winter, using the polished concrete floor to absorb the heat and re-radiate it into the space,” ZED states on its website. “The north-facing high performance glass door opens up to the agrarian view out over abutting farm lands, seamlessly connecting the interior living space with the exterior patio.”

The decor throughout—well, at least what we could find online and in this YouTube video—show open, airy rooms with windows that let in lots of sunlight. There’s really nothing to obstruct the views here, and thank goodness. This is truly a lovely space surrounded by plenty of lovely nature. The white walls and sleek and streamlined furniture help contribute to that breezy, forget-your-troubles feel. (None of our business, but we’re really hoping the current owners have stuck with that sleeker theme!)

The house has not gone unnoticed. ZED received a Silver Prism Award in 2013. The Passive House Retreat also won the AIA/BSA Design Award in 2013.

“Our firm continually strives to realize projects with both exceptional design and energy performance,” ZeroEnergy Design’s Stephanie Horowitz said in a statement announcing the Silver Prism award.

So there you have it: A super duper eco-friendly vacation house in a picturesque New England coastal town. Give us some local grub and a great book and we’d be all set to vacation the way humanity was intended to vacation!