English Construction in Appalachia

Our client for this project approached us with the desire to build a traditional English style timber frame home embodying sophisticated energy systems and water conservation strategies. This home incorporates advanced passive and active solar components, water reclamation systems, and passive cooling, while imparting a sense of timelessness in the design.


The home is located in a secluded mountain reserve in Western North Carolina at an altitude of 3100 feet. This was the first project in which we utilized 3D terrain modeling to site the building and design the landscape and landscaping elements. Given the success of this approach with this particular  work, we have continued to develop and refine this project on every undertaking since.

The timber frame was cut and erected by Border Oak of Herefordshire, England. The unique design of this project required meticulous detailing to prevent air infiltration while maintaining the aesthetic of a traditional old world timber frame design. All of the timbers in the project were harvested from a forest in France that has been sustainably managed for timber for more than three centuries. While we typically choose to source our materials locally, the craftsmen at Border Oak were uniquely qualified to meet the project goals.

The house is heated by an evacuated tube solar system that provides heat for radiant floors. To take advantage of the more than 60 inches of rain per year, up to 4500 gallons of water can be stored in tanks that are located under the northern veranda. Passive cooling is assisted by airflow through the cupola located in the central stair core.

As in all construction projects, the talent and attention to detail of the General Contractor was essential to the essential to the success of this project, and we are grateful to Camptown Construction for their skillful execution of the Work.

  • Designer: Alembic Studio, LLC
  • General Contractor: Camptown Construction
  • Engineering: Dean and Associates, Inc.
  • Mechanical Systems: Solar Dynamics
  • Landscaping: Snow Creek Landscaping
  • Masonry Stove: Vesta Masonry Stoves