The Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) - Chatham Cottage is the seventh in a series of small houses, constructed by students in the CCCC Sustainable Technologies and Building Construction Technologies programs. The goal of the program is much more than simply teaching students standard construction techniques. The larger pedagogical aim is to provide students with a first hand understanding of sustainable building concepts and practices so that they can soon become part of the green building sector that is flourishing in the region and around the country. In fact, green design and construction today is more the norm than the exception and a work force equipped with a working knowledge of core green principles is critical, both for future employment as well as for the well-being of the planet.

  • 672 square feet (including porch)
  • Custom designed with architect​, Mike Spinello, AIA

For more information, contact Jeff Gannon, call (919) 545-8032 or email jgannon@cccc.edu


Sustainable features:

Low energy consumption
A small footprint - The average new home size in America is around 2500 square feet. Chatham Cottage is around 500 sf, not including the screened porch, yet the space feels perfectly adequate, providing all the functionality of a conventional home. Many believe a side benefit of living small is not having as many unnecessary possessions.
High insulation values - The walls, floor, windows and particularly the roof, are well insulated, in order to retain the heat and cool.
Tight building envelope - When mechanical systems are used, a tight building envelope, in concert with high insulation values, keep the energy used for heating and cooling to a minimum.
Efficient lighting and appliances - Energy Star, LED
Passive solar heating
Long, thin form - Designed to be oriented with the broad side facing south. Building overhangs designed to allow winter sunlight to warm sides of building and penetrate glazing. Also contributing to low energy consumption.
Passive cooling
Long, thin form - Promotes cross ventilation, particularly in primary living spaces with windows on multiple sides. Also contributing to low energy consumption.
Overhangs - Designed to prevent summer sunlight from warming sides of building and penetrating glazing.
Cathedral Ceiling - Allows air to stratify and promotes circulation throughout.
Wooden rain - screen construction - Wooden cladding is a low thermal mass material, optimal for the hot and humid Southeastern climate. The rain-screen construction minimizes thermal bridging and allows the cladding to be ventilated from behind.
Long, thin form - Primary living spaces with windows on multiple sides allow for natural daylight to penetrate, thus lessening the need for electric light and increasing the psychological benefits of natural light. Also contributing to low energy consumption.
Low embodied energy
Local, sustainable materials
Photovoltaic and solar hot water ready
Broad, south facing roof - Allows for large number of photovoltaic panels and a solar hot water heater. If orientation and exposure are correct, net-zero energy consumption is possible