Meet the First Acre Home- A Modern Cabin

We are thrilled to share the Griffin home, Acre’s first super-efficient build. It may look like a simple modern cabin on the outside, but almost everything about this home is unique. From its SIPs walls and roof that assembled in 3 days (watch the timelapse of them going up here), to its streamlined mechanicals that eliminate the standard furnace and air conditioner, this home completely readdresses performance and quality. It’s sited on 40 acres of the homeowners’ family land, and represents the dream home of empty-nesters Mark & Tammy Griffin.





1 bedroom/ 1 bath

860 sq.ft. footprint + 300 sq.ft. loft

Large 4-season covered porch

Exposed Douglas Fir timber frame

50-year corrugated metal roof

Cedar siding

Stained concrete floor

IKEA cabinetry

Walnut kitchen counters (handmade by Tammy’s brother)


Sustainable/ Smart Features:

85% more efficient than a typical home

Passive solar design – takes advantage of sun for heating

Airtight, panelized wall + roof system (SIPs)

Passive Geothermal Exchange (PGX) – uses ground temps to regulate internal climate

Heat Recovery Ventilator & Mini-Split replace typical furnace & A/C

High-efficiency appliances & lighting, including single-drum combo washer/condensing dryer

Wireless lighting and baseboard outlets preserve wall insulation

Will use Zero Net Energy when solar panels are added


How it all works:

Large windows are oriented toward the south to soak up heat from the sun in the winter (known as Passive Solar design), while the awnings are calculated to block the angle of summer sun.  A radiant heating loop runs through the floor to distribute this heat to the north side of the home, and the wood-burning stove on the porch can feed heat into this system for a boost (thanks to its airtight SIPs shell, the home would overheat if the stove were actually inside!). A secondary loop runs directly under the floor, comprising what we call our Passive Geothermal Exchange (PGX). Unlike typical geothermal – which requires 4x more piping, a large expensive heat pump, and costly drilling – the PGX system still harnesses stable ground temperatures, but costs about a tenth of the price and uses only 160 watts of power.

Fresh air is brought in at a controlled point, where a Heat Recovery Ventilator transfers temperature between inbound and outbound air, getting the most from the air you’ve already conditioned.  A 28-SEER mini-split system is used for occasional spot temperature adjustment. When the owners add a 3kW PV system next year, the home will use Zero Net Energy.


We enjoyed sharing the home with about 70 people who attended the open house!  Special thanks to owners Mark & Tammy, and friends who helped us stage the home:

Maggie Goss, Mercury Contract Group – furniture

Jenn Isom – artwork

KJO media – photography



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