Residential Design

VOL.2 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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GO Home Again GO LOGIC BELFAST, MAINE Photo: Courtesy GO Logic Photo: ©Trent Bell Photo: ©Trent Bell There's something about Maine that draws people from the Midwest. Per- haps it's the similarly harsh winters, but it may also have to do with the state's sunnier skies and its proximity to the crisply blue Atlantic Ocean. Both architect Matt O'Malia and builder Alan Gibson hail from Michigan, but, following separate paths, they each wound their way to Belfast, Maine. After working on a project together, they discovered other similarities, chief among them a passion for environmen- tal design and construction. In 2008, they joined forces to launch the residen- tial design/build firm, GO Logic. Although it seems like 2008 was not an ideal time to launch a home- building company, Matt and Alan had an idea that set them apart from other struggling builders at the time. It was an approach optimized for Maine's harsh climate: Passive House. The stringent energy-conserving building standard was conceived and promul- gated in Germany, where Matt honed his architectural education. His time in Frankfurt seeded interest in the build- ing system, which flowered after he and Alan heard architect Katrin Klingen- berg speak at a conference about the house she built in Illinois—the first Passive House in the United States. "GO Logic was the original start- ing-in-the-garage organization," Matt says. "We decided, 'Let's build a project and try to make it to the Passive House standard.' Because that was such a far- fetched agenda anyway, we financed it ourselves and that gave us broad latitude to fail. We got to rethink all the parts and pieces… In looking back, we actually got a lot of it right. Those parts and pieces became the foundational concepts of the way we build now." The result of their efforts was the 1,500-square-foot GO Home, and it resonated far and wide for many reasons. One, was its simple pitched- roof farmhouse form—it's what a kid draws when asked to draw a house. It was also red, like a barn. The combina- tion created an image that was iconic, embraceable Americana. Only it was about as high-tech as homebuilding could get circa 2010 when it was completed: a solar array on the roof, triple-pane glazing, an ener- gy recovery ventilator (ERV), a solar hot-water system, and a completely tight, super-insulated building envelope. It was high-tech performance delivered in a package with timeless appeal. The project earned almost instant recogni- tion and credibility for the fledgling firm. GO Home was a modest house with big ambitions to use very little energy—up to 90 percent less than a typical building of the same size. The building became the first certified Passive House in Maine, the 12th one in the U.S., and it also gar- nered LEED Platinum certification. Left to right: Design/ build partners Matt O'Malia and Alan Gibson Above: The first GO Home captured hearts and many design awards. It serves as the foundation for a new prefab platform launched by GO Logic. 23 VOL. 2, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM PRO-FILE BUILD

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