Project Team

David Pill's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Business Member Company Record Manager Green Company Manager Member

David Pill's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Business Member Company Record Manager Green Company Manager Member

David Pill is the principal of Pill-Maharam Architects, a small firm in Shelburne VT. He has a Masters degree in Architecture from Washington University and a BA in Philosophy and Art History from Lake Forest College. David has been a practicing architect for 25 years and is NCARB certified and licensed in all 6 New England states and NY. After working at The Architects Collaborative in Cambridge, MA David started his own firm in 1991 and has been involved with sustainable design practices for the last 23 years. David’s passion lies in creating sculptural and pragmatic environmentally responsible buildings which produce zero carbon emissions.

Pill – Maharam Architects has completed four projects designed to the German Passive House Standard and numerous projects which meet the highest level of Efficiency Vermont’s high performance home program. Presently they have been working on the High Performance Mobile Home Innovation project. David has taught design studios at the Boston Architectural College, given lectures at green building conferences as well as presenting his own LEED Platinum Net Zero home to the Congressional Caucus on High Performance Buildings in Washington DC.

Pill – Maharam Architects has won awards from Efficiency Vermont, AIA Vermont, Vermont Green Building Network, The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and the Sustainable Building Industry Council. Their work has been published regionally and nationally in books, magazines and green building venues online.


Andy Shapiro's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Member

Andy Shapiro's picture

BE Boston 19 Registrants BE Boston 20 Registrants BuildingEnergy 16 Full Conference Member

Andy Shapiro, through his company Energy Balance, Inc, has been providing energy consulting and design services to a wide variety of clients since 1988. He works with homeowners, architects, engineers and builders, as well as institutions, towns and non-profit housing organizations. Services range from house-doctoring to high performance building design and include research projects and performance evaluation. He is also the Director of Science and Engineering for the Vermont Energy Education Program. Andy lives in Montpelier.

Energy Consultant

Other Team Members

Jim Huntington - Builder
John Higgins - Structural Engineer

Ratings, Awards and Recognition


LEED Platinum - first one in Vermont

NESEA Awards:

2009 Won the first Net Zero NESEA prize

Other Awards:

2008 AIA VT Honor award
2009 SBIC High Performance Building award
2008 Effficiency Vermont Best of the Best Honor Award
2012 Vermont Green Building Network Net Zero award and Vermont's Greenest Building Award

Published References:

Northeast Sun
Design New England Magazine
Journal of Light construction Magazine
Fine Home Building Magazine
Toward a Zero Energy Home - Book
Home Sweet Zero Energy Home - Book

HERS Index::

This is a 2800 SF single family residence for a family of four located in East Charlotte, VT. The house was completed August 1st 2007   The goal was to create a house with as little environmental impact as possible while maintaining a high level of design and detail in a cold northern climate. The house has been designed to, and has been functioning for the last 9 years( since completed) at net zero energy use with zero carbon emissions, using only electricity generated on site with its 10KW net-metered wind turbine and 5kW PV tracker (added in 2010). Since built the house has been net positive putting 4000 kWh back into the grid.   Being in a rural Vermont landscape we designed the house by taking cues from the local agricultural context. The exterior form expresses the simplicity found in barns and farm houses, allowing us to create a simple building envelope which was more efficient to build and to heat.  The interior was designed with a clean minimal aesthetic allowing focus to the carefully framed views out into the landscape. The design of the house is large enough for a family of four with future flexibility, and small enough to limit energy use and resources. 


Project Description

The house maximizes energy efficiency by being long and narrow on the true east west axis with simple massing.   It is a super insulated passive solar design which uses a ground source heat pump for all heating and domestic hot water; the finished floor on the first level is a 4” ground and polished concrete slab for thermal mass and the open plan allows for flexibility as well as southern daylight into all living spaces. The 10KW net-metered wind turbine produces all of the electricity required for heating, hot water, cooking, lighting and appliances. No fossil fuels are used.   Using an integrated design approach, involving the architect/client, energy consultant, structural engineer and the builder allowed us to coordinate all of these strategies into a moderately priced net zero house which maintains a high level of design and detail.  

Quick Facts


Location Charlotte, Vermont
Building Type Single Family Residence
Project Type Net Exporter
Basis of Performance Claim Verified
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 2.5
Conditioned Floor Area 2,800 sq ft
Total Cost of Project $600,000

Energy Summary

Energy Data Type Verified
Renewable Energy System Type(s) Photovoltaics, Wind

LEED Platinum - first one in Vermont

Annual renewable energy generated 16,000 kWh/year

Envelope and Mechanicals

Subslab assembly

4" of EPS wrapped up to isolate 4" conc slab

Foundation wall assembly

From exterior to interior - 8" of concrete, 2" of EPS 2x4 dense pack cellulose

Above grade wall assembly

2 x 6 studs with closed cell foam with 1.5" of continuous rigid insulation on the exterior.

Door Assembly

Thermatru doors fiberglass.

Air Changes per hour, ACH50 1.00 ACH50