Home with multiple Marvin Windows and Doors
12 March 2018

Layton Residence

A modern, net zero beach retreat finds a balance between sunny southern views and a beautiful canal to the north.

In search of a sustainable beach retreat where they could spend summers with family and guests, the owners of this modern home set out to maximize natural light and energy efficiency while taking advantage of beautiful canal views in South Bethany Beach, Delaware.

In order to make the most of the owners’ limited budget, efficient use of space was favored over expansive square footage. In the end, the diminutive 2,025-square-foot floor plan allowed the owners to spend more per square foot to achieve thoughtful planning and superior performance throughout the home.

This careful planning and attention to materials and design allowed the architect to achieve a net zero energy dwelling—using concrete floors for passive heating and deep overhangs to protect from intense summer sunlight. Industrial materials create a modern feel, while balancing materials like wood and textured fabrics bring warmth into the interior.

A key design challenge for achieving maximum light and views involved the orientation of the house between the street on the sunny South side of the home and the canal on the North side. To take advantage of the canal-front property, living spaces are located on the back of the house to capture the waterside views.

To keep the interior from feeling dark and cold, the glass-enclosed stair tower made of affordable Marvin Impact Zone (IZ) Certified casement and awning windows funnels southern light from the front of the house into the great room on the back of the home. Because Marvin Coastal Solutions products are engineered to remain airtight, watertight and secure during driving coastal rains and heavy winds, there were no concerns that the large expanses of glass would pose challenges to the efficient building envelope.