INHABITAT: “Micropolis custom net-zero home generates all its own energy”

Blueplate PR client: Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA


By Lucy Wang

When Cheryl and Ken Serdar saw one of the homes belonging to Micropolis®, a collection of sustainable and contemporary house plans designed by architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, they knew they wanted a custom home based on the original 950-square-foot “Happy Family” plan. Taking into account the couple’s needs for extra space, Schechter designed a 2,222-square-foot dwelling that also offered all of the sustainable and modern design features defined in her Micropolis® line. Located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the custom net-zero home is the most energy-efficient residence that the architect has designed to date. READ MORE…

“Floating” House On A Raleigh Hillside Featured in Architectural Record

January 26, 2007 (RALEIGH, NC) – A modern house perched on a steep hillside in Raleigh’s established Laurel Hills neighborhood is featured this month in Architectural Record, one of the profession’s most respected journal.

Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, designed the 1800-square-foot house for Lynda Strickland when she relocated here from Washington, D.C. Her property is located within a 150-year-old beech and oak forest above Crabtree Creek.

“We knew we had to raise the house off the ground and let the water flow under it,” Harmon told Architectural Record’s Clifford Pearson, so he propped it on nine wood trusses sitting on concrete columns. “The strategy not only preserved the site’s hydrological patterns,” writes Pearson, “but allowed the architect to build without cutting down any major trees…”

In the article, entitled “Frank Harmon raised the Strickland-Ferris Residence off the ground, then let its roof take flight,” Pearson addresses the innovative “butterfly roof….floating above a band of windows wrapping around the top of the building,” which also helps collect rainwater for irrigating the forest floor.

Noting that Strickland told Harmon she wanted “to feel as if I were living in the trees,” Pearson writes: “A glass-and-steel wall running the length of the building and reaching as high as 27 feet creates an ethereal boundary between inside and out, between modern living and the great outdoors.”

Completed in 2004, the Strickland-Ferris residence has received design awards from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architect (AIA/NC), and the AIA/NC Triangle section. It was also featured in Dwell magazine’s December edition.

A portion of the feature in Architectural Record is available online at Photographs and a description of the house are also available at under “projects.”

Strickland-Ferris residence