This project involved the design of a new retreat facility for the practice of internal martial arts, Qigong and meditation. The 3500 square-foot retreat operates off-grid and incorporates the principles of Feng Shui and the latest advances in sustainable architecture. The design of Harmony Dawn reflects the owners’ wishes to create a “green” retreat, providing a tranquil and welcoming space, nestled harmoniously in its natural surroundings. 


  • Passive solar
  • Biomass Masonry Heater
  • Radiant Floors

Hot Water

  • Solar Thermal System
  • Biomass Co-generator
  • Propane back up


  • Water efficient fixtures
  • Rainwater collection from roofs and stored in cisterns for greenhouse and site irrigation


  • 1 KW wind generator
  • 800 W Photovoltaic System
  • Propane generator back up
  • Inverter and battery bank
  • Daylighting
  • Energy efficient fixtures and appliance


  • Live/workspace for the owners
  • Makes use of site opportunities (woodlot protects from north winds, meadow allows for full solar access, hill provides ideal location for wind generator)


  • Off grid
  • Energy efficient envelope
  • Passive solar design (glazing faces solar south while building is oriented toward views)