Two Modern, Net Zero Houses by Architect Arielle Schechter Will Grace the Fall Modernist Home Tour September 17th

August 26, 2022 § Leave a comment

The Baboolal Residence — rear elevation, backyard | Photo © Tzu Chen

…the perfect balance of budget, sustainability, livability, and delight,” wrote Residential Design editor Claire Conroy in her assessment of the Baboolal Residence. “At every turn, [Arielle Schechter] prioritized the qualities of light, views, and building performance over superficial, budget-busting bling.”’s KC Morgan concluded her observations with, “Seamless design and net-zero strategies combine to make the Baboolal home both beautiful and energy-efficient.”

This modern, ultra-green, single-family home is one of two residential projects designed by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, that will grace the roster of the Fall Modernist Homes Tour on September 17, presented by NCModernist.

The Serdar House | Photo courtesy Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

The Serdars’ Net Zero/Net Positive Micropolis® House in Hillsborough is the other Schechter project on the tour. While fulfilling the owners’ request for a “very modern, extremely green, and almost industrial” house, the architecture ultimately delivered her most energy-efficient residence to date, which includes the best HERS rating the independent rating company has ever seen. (Click here for the explanation.) And most of the time, the house produces more energy than it consumes — hence Net Positive.

Energy issues aside, the Serdar House also contains a luxurious, age-in-place, spa-like main bathroom that previous home tour attendees have described as “luscious,” “incredible,” and “sybaritic.”

Eleven modernist houses will comprise the Fall Modernist Homes Tour. (Click here to see all 11.) Tickets are sold out, but George Smart is compiling a waiting list in case current ticketholders must drop out between now and September 17. Anyone interested in getting on the waiting list should contact him:

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About the architect:  Visit Arielle Condoret Schechter’s website for more information on these and the many other modern, net zero houses she has designed and others currently under design development or construction:

About NCModernist:  Founded and directed by George Smart of Durham, NCModernist is a nationally renowned, award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting modernist residential design throughout North Carolina. Along with maintaining the depth and facets of its website,, the organization sponsors a host of special events, programs, and tours throughout the year, including fall and spring tours of modernist homes, via luxury bus, located within the Triangle region.


DesignNews, April 2022

April 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

The modern, net-zero “Wolf-Huang House” on Lake Orange designed by Arielle Condoret Schechter [ M.Arch. ‘87] was featured in an eight-page spread in Chapel Hill Magazine’s January/February edition. Another Schechter project, her award-winning net-zero “Haw River House,” is featured in Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, a new book by renowned environmentalist and NYT bestselling author Paul Hawken.

CLICK HERE to read the entire newsletter.

On The Boards: Arielle Condoret Schechter Designs Modern Cliff-Hanger in Western North Carolina

April 20, 2022 § Leave a comment

Rendering of the Miller-McWeeney house, Northside

Calling the site for this project “one of the tightest little corners I’ve ever had to make something fit,” Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, has designed a modern, sustainable home on a mountainside in Swannanoa, NC, a tiny township between Asheville and Black Mountain, NC.

Designed for P.J. Miller, a musician, and artist Katie McWeeney, the two-story, modern, thoroughly “green” house will hug the flat part of the couple’s cliff-side property and include three bedrooms, two baths, an open kitchen/dining/living core, two studios/workspaces, two carports, and abundant decking for outdoor living and connectivity between the indoors and outdoors.

Chief among Schechter’s inspirations for this design was the couple’s lament over never having enough kitchen, workspace, or studio space in previous homes. “We’re trying to remedy that in this house,” she said, accepting the challenge despite the restrictive size of the property’s buildable area.

Rendering, Miller-McWeeney house, Southwest Elevation

Actually, the site’s verticality helped her solve the studio/workspace problem. She’s tucked two studios beneath the living spaces, along with carports/loading zones on each end. The loading zones will create sightlines and open-air spaces within the entire volume, she pointed out, “and create the sort of positive-negative composition I like.”

Along with art and music, Miller and McSweeney enjoy cooking, baking, and hosting cooking classes. To enhance their passion, the Schechter-designed kitchen will provide a profusion of natural lighting along with an open, professionally planned interior.

Will the Miller-McWeeney home contribute to Schechter’s ever-expanding portfolio of net-zero residential designs?

“Yes, of course,” she said emphatically. “Our goal for all our houses is to be net-zero, net-positive or, at the very least, net-zero-ready.” The latter means that the completed house will be wired and plumbed for solar panels to be installed in the future. “That, plus rooftop water collection for gardening should make this a very sustainable house for this great couple to enjoy.”

For more information on the architect and her work, visit

HOME BUILDER DIGEST: “The 18 Best Residential Architects in North Carolina”

February 8, 2022 § Leave a comment

North Carolina is one of the most popular states to live in the country. The “Triangle” region of the state, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, provides visitors and residents with a myriad of reasons to enjoy the state. It has a diverse culture, rich history, and a wide array of job opportunities. Scenic mountain vistas, pristine beaches, and fantastic weather make it a thriving area. 

The state is home to vibrant communities filled with adventures. With a population of over ten million people, North Carolina is the ninth biggest state in the country, and it is still growing. For those considering relocating to the region and those seeking to upgrade their North Carolina homes, the best residential architects are necessary. 

The list below showcases the best residential architects in North Carolina. These firms were selected based on their experiences in residential designs, awards won, years in the industry, and media coverage, and they are the best in the industry…

Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect

A fine example of the firm’s accomplished projects is Wolf-Huang Residence on Lake Orange. Photo by Tzu Chen.

What separates multi-award-winning firm Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, from the other architects is a clear understanding of how each project is about more than designing an exceptional space. Each project has the capacity to enhance people’s lives and lifestyles, and this small firm is dedicated to doing exactly that. READ MORE


January 18, 2022 § Leave a comment

by Morgan Cartier Weston | Photos by John Michael Simpson


New book by best-selling author/environmentalist Paul Hawken uses Haw River House to illustrate key element of his visionary treatise

October 30, 2021 § Leave a comment

Photo of the Paradise-Zimmerman house that Hawken uses in the Energy chapter (page 207) of Regeneration. Photos by Tzu Chen Photography

The modern net-zero Paradis-Zimmerman “Haw River House,” designed by Chapel Hill, NC architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is featured in Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, a new book by Paul Hawken. The renowned environmentalist chose Arielle’s award-winning house for his chapter on energy.

“The Haw River House is a 2800-square-foot home in North Carolina,” the caption to the photo states. “Its rooftop solar array provides all of its electricity.  Insulation, passive house design, energy-recovery ventilators, and solar reflective shades improve energy efficiency and help maintain a constant temperature. A geothermal heat pump handles the rest of the heating and cooling needs. It is also water independent; a small well supports a rainwater collection and purification system that, when full, can provide water for 230 days.”

Unfortunately, the author misunderstood this water collection system. As Arielle explains, a massive, custom-designed gutter leads to downspouts on each end of the house. There, the butterfly roof funnels 100 percent of the rainwater that falls on the roof into two 5000-gallon above-ground cisterns. When full, the cisterns can provide the house with water for 230 days without rainfall.

Despite the misrepresentation of her rooftop water collection system, Arielle says she is deeply honored to have one of her residential projects featured in Hawken’s newest title.

The Haw River House, located in Chatham County, NC, is part of Arielle’s consistently growing portfolio of modern net-zero residences. Green Building & Design showcased this house and other examples of Arielle’s work in its May 2020 edition online and in print.  (To learn more about the Haw River House and see more photos, click here,)

About the book:  According to the book’s publicity, Regeneration is “a radically new understanding of and practical approach to climate change... [It] offers a visionary new approach to climate change, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, equity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation. It is the first book to describe and define the burgeoning regeneration movement spreading rapidly throughout the world… Regeneration is the inspiring and necessary guide to inform the rapidly spreading climate movement.”

About the author:  Paul Hawken has written eight books published in over 50 countries in 32 languages. Five of his books have been national and New York Times bestsellers, including Drawdown, which focuses on global warming. He has been a guest on nearly every major news talk show in the U.S. and his writings have appeared in a host of national publications, including the Harvard Business Review. (For Paul Hawken’s more extensive biography, visit

Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation (Penguin Books, publisher) is available on Amazon.

ARCHINECT: “Wolf-Huang Lake House”

October 27, 2021 § Leave a comment

Living/Dining/Kitchen space

Across the east fork of the Eno River in Orange County, six miles north of downtown Hillsborough, Lake Orange has attracted well-heeled homeowners to its shores for years, many of whom have built their very large, very traditional dream homes there. Many hardwoods and evergreen trees have disappeared in their wake.

Now another new home has appeared along the lake’s shore, nestled among the lofty trees, that is the antithesis of those houses. Designed by Chapel Hill architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, the Wolf-Huang house has introduced modern, sensibly sized, and environmentally sustainable living to the Lake Orange neighborhood. Inside, it is the essence of minimal, reductive design — simple and serene. READ MORE

On the Boards: Breeze House and Rougemont Farmstead

May 19, 2021 § Leave a comment


The Breeze House is a 900-square-foot, custom Micropolis House® designed for a very tight infill lot only a couple of miles from downtown Chapel Hill. The lot is steep so the building pad will sit on a small knoll, elevated above the adjacent street.

​Arielle and her clients walked the site last summer during the heat wave and were amazed, she said, that it felt at least 10 degrees cooler up on the knoll than on the surrounding properties.

“That’s due to the prevailing breezes from the south and southwest,” she explained, then smiled. “Discovering that was nothing less than magic.” Hence the name “Breeze House.”

Despite its diminutive size, the house will feel spacious thanks to the flood of ,natural light. And operable windows will ensure that the prevailing breezes are harnessed to flush hot air out whenever the owners feel the need.  

​ Another perk: “Smaller houses mean you can put your money into some special ‘goodies’,” Arielle noted. “The Breeze House’s ‘goodies’ will include a gourmet kitchen, orchid shelves, a small courtyard for cafe-style dining, and an outdoor patio for entertaining.”


Arielle’s client for the Rougemont Farmstead house is a transplant from Northern California who decided to move east and settle in central North Carolina. He found a large piece of farmland bordered by a creek — the perfect site for starting the farmstead he envisioned. Eventually, a new barn will become home to “Duke,” his beautiful horse.  

​Arielle’s design was inspired by the groupings of small outbuildings found on vernacular farms all over the North Carolina. For the new house on this farmstead, however, the feel, form, and space will be decidedly modern, filled with natural light. A screen porch will offer a panoramic view of the fields around it.

“And with its perfect southern exposure,” she added, “the roof will support a small solar array.”

Click here to see more renderings of Rougemont Farmstead.

Under Construction: The Lerner-Campbell Residence

May 19, 2021 § Leave a comment

When these homeowners’ approached Arielle, they had grown tired of living with little privacy in their old neighborhood. They also wanted an exciting, “dramatic” interior.

The site they chose accommodates their desire for privacy while high ceilings and extensive glass will deliver plenty of internal drama in their new modern home.

Another imperative was a clear connection between indoors and outdoors. Arielle’s design provides that relationship through a massive curtain wall (floor-to-ceiling window) in the living room, a screen porch, a generously sized deck, and even a hot tub deck on a lower level.

​Another feature the homeowners will enjoy will be the main bath — “a spa and a retreat from the stress of the world,” Arielle said, adding, “We love designing special bathrooms that enhance our clients’ quality of life and enjoyment of their house.” 

To see more renderings of the Lerner-Campbell Residence, click here.

ARCHITECTS + ARTISANS: “On a Carolina River, a Hawk’s-eye View”

November 20, 2020 § Leave a comment

Photo by Tzu Chen

By J. Michael Welton

For a new home on the Haw River in North Carolina’s Chatham County, architect Arielle Schechter found her inspiration in two places.

One was the Haw River. The other was a rock.

“Walking down by the riverbank, there were so many trees cantilevered and bent out over the river, that I said: ‘I want this house to bend out over the river too,’” she says.

She placed the home on the only buildable knoll above the Haw, since the 21-acre site slopes steeply down to a flood plain and riparian buffer below.

As for the rock, it actually was a huge granite boulder, split down the center. “It’s super-sculptural with a thin knife-blade through the middle where rainwater flows,” she says. “The idea of bisecting something appealed to me, so I did that with the butterfly roof.”

Then there was the raptor… READ MORE

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