Devastation and loss were not the only things that Hurricane Sandy brought to coastal communities in New Jersey. While the storm uncovered the susceptibility of existing energy systems, it also opened an opportunity to excel in the design of these systems. Michael Graves Architecture & Design (MGA&D) and Bill Meyer seized these opportunities in the Meyer House, producing a design with solutions to both energy and climate challenges.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents in coastal communities were presented with incentives and rebates in for green construction performed through the Home Performance with Energy Star program. Mr. Meyer’s home in Monmouth Beach, NJ, is eligible for these credits and is currently in review to receive Energy Star certification, embodying a multitude of the rating’s ideals – a symbol of energy efficiency, sustainability, cost savings and enhancement of quality of life.

What priorities drove sustainable and energy efficient design decisions for the Meyer House? MGA&D believes that all design must be sustainable, in order to enhance the quality of life for all individuals and the environment as a whole, while being conscious of conservation and renewable resources in the process. This belief aligns with the benefit of superior quality in comfort and building performance promoted by Energy Star. A home qualified for Energy Star typically uses over 15% less energy than a standard home, and to Mr. Meyer, this means substantial cost savings in lower utility and maintenance costs.

When it comes to sustainability, I don’t wear it on my sleeve. It’s more a part of my DNA. – Bill Meyer

Bill Meyer shares his perspective, “When it comes to sustainability, I don’t wear it on my sleeve. It’s more a part of my DNA. It’s not new to me. If there’s a motivation, it’s the improvement in operating costs. Yes, I want to have a better insulated house. I don’t want to have a situation where I’m wasting water. My electric use should satisfy my needs, but with utilizing technologies that would reduce the costs.”

Smart strategies such as energy efficient windows and doors, high efficiency appliances and construction details to reduce thermal bridging, to designing an iconic canopy sun shade to protect a large glass façade from sun exposure; all contribute to Mr. Meyer’s energy efficient and resilient home. A large factor in choosing the contractor, Faust Contracting Company, was their experience and reputation for producing sustainable green homes. Mechanical systems will be located at roof level and hung from ceilings to protect from flooding, and a backup electricity generator provides security in the event of power outages. Overall, the integrated, energy efficient building systems and appliances have significantly elevated the value of Mr. Meyer’s home, now better prepared and built to withstand powerful storms and floods with sustainable engineered construction.