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Project Update: Adele Santos House

The New Contemporary Prefab

The new contemporary prefab in Somerville, Massachusetts, conceived by acclaimed architect Adèle Naudé Santos and built by Bensonwood, boasts 27′ spans, 12′ ceilings, a 24′ wall of glass, and sky views through overlapping lofts above. Located in burgeoning Kirkland Village, a scenic 15 minute walk to Harvard Square, this is one of three very special buildings on the site of a former bronze foundry — including another Santos property recently featured in The Boston Globe and Boston Curbed.

Urban green project living room

Urban design authority and former dean of MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P), Santos is principal architect in the San Francisco and Boston based firm, Santos, Prescott and Associates. SP+A architect Ethan Lacy served as Project Architect for the house.

The house was fabricated off-site by Bensonwood with engineered wood and steel, expansive windows, and a weathertight clapboard and stucco exterior. The energy-efficient shell was raised in just a few days of days and finished in a matter of weeks in early 2014, a benefit of factory-built homes.

Energy Ratings + Systems

Energy systems include 4-zone radiant heat set in concrete, whole house heat pump A/C, an energy recovery ventilator for conditioned fresh air, triple-glazed windows and full insulation. The attached garage/workshop has radiant heat floors. Outdoor spaces include a side patio from the kitchen, a large private backyard and an upper-level terrace overlooking the street.

The home is Energy Star Tier III certified (the highest level possible) and has a HERS Index Rating of 42, meaning it is 58% more efficient than a standard new home.

Green Energy Highlights

  • Radiant heated floors in all living spaces.A heat pump system for bedrooms, backup heat and whole house A/C
  • Energy recovery ventilator providing conditioned fresh air for use when cooling or heating
  • LED lighting throughout.Precision prefabricated, high-performance construction by Bensonwood
  • Zero VOC paints and finishes.Designed for natural lighting and ventilation throughout
  • Triple glazed windows throughout with special acoustic glass in bedrooms.