Sponsored Case Study: Green Living in Gap Cove


Steps from the Atlantic Ocean, Gap Cove House is a contemporary design that showcases large windows to embrace shoreline views. The architect/homeowner selected windows from Kolbe’s VistaLuxe® Collection to achieve his desired balance of performance, aesthetics and sustainability.


Built on the foundation and partial framing of a previous structure, the modern Gap Cove House is a 180˚ departure from other, more traditional homes in the neighborhood. At grade is an open-air living space defined by raw concrete piers, a cedar-clad ceiling, and a built-in 16-foot-long steel and wood dining table anchored to the concrete at the north end.

Its interior features an elevated main living space along the entire oceanfront side that is open to the original house’s roof framing. Two levels of compact bedrooms and bathrooms exist on the west side and adjacent to the master bath is a small courtyard with bi-folding doors to expand the shower to the outdoors. This space also acts as a thermal chimney to enhance natural ventilation.

“We design Modern houses,” says owner and architect William Ruhl of Ruhl Walker Architects in Boston. “I chose Kolbe’s VistaLuxe® Collection for the sightlines, maximum light and views, and minimal frame size. No one else offers the 2-3/8-inch frame size for a metal-clad wood window system at this price point. There are a few window companies that claim to have a narrow frame, but even a fraction of an inch larger makes a substantial difference.”

The home is only 25 feet from the high water level, so Ruhl needed windows that not only provided the Modern look and expansive daylight openings he desired, but also had the ability to handle the elements. The windows also needed to help him meet the performance goals for this project.

Ruhl says, “In keeping with the great views, we wanted large windows. We knew we needed an excellent U-value since we’re in such an exposed location. On this (northeastern) side of the house, we specified laminated glazing for added protection. It’s exciting to watch the windows work! Thankfully, there’s no water or air coming through, and you are reassured that they’re doing their jobs.”



“We’re aiming for net zero energy,” he explains. “It’s an all-electric house with solar panels, and was designed to produce as much electricity as it uses over the course of a year. In the summer, we are a positive energy producer, which means we have negative electric bills month after month. We stayed warm in winter even when the heat wasn’t on. It was very comfortable sitting right next to the largest windows in the middle of winter.”
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