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Posts Tagged ‘high performance windows’

* Residential Architecture: Tramway House by Vibe Design Group

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 12 August 2012

Residential Architecture: Tramway House by Vibe Design Group: “..Located in Beaumaris, the subject site offered a sense of locality with an appreciation of the bay through a perpendicular street. The client brief called for a family home to temporarily accommodate their children who were nearing adulthood, and visiting international guests. Preference was made for the master bedroom to be located on the lower story along with the primary living spaces..Off-street parking was required for three vehicles, one of which was a race car that seldom required roadway access. The unusual shaped site triggered a dynamic design response, unique in both shape and form. Given the client’s involvement in motorsport, we were motivated to create a sense of movement, which resulted in a zinc-clad box appearing to have dropped in part to create a private entry with balcony over. A battened timber system was not only used to balance the façade, it also disguises the vehicle access, and partially screens the windows in the primary living space from passers by..The splayed living area features the kitchen, laundry and scullery at the narrowed end, opening to the dining and lounge area at the other. A timber-lined wall defines the end of the space and features a fireplace and wall-mounted television, before wrapping the corner and leading to a crossroads in the floor plan layout. This point signifies the access point from the garage, staircase ascending to the upper story or sliding wall access into the sitting area/study and master bedroom. Integrated access doors into the cellar and powder room are also disguised in the horizontally lined messmate feature wall..A flexible upper story layout accommodates the immediate needs of the client’s children, with an optional isolated ‘apartment style’ space for visiting guests. The irregular shaped spaces throughout create a fluidity and functionality, which could not have been achieved with a conventional rectangular format. Furthermore, it allowed for the north facing entertaining space, with swimming pool and landscaped area, to be fully maximised. As viewed from the rear, the lower story has a lightweight feel and provides all rooms an appreciation of the swimming pool and landscaped garden..The upper story hovers above as though it were a floating sculpture. The zinc form is punched-in to give the guest bedroom a protected low-line window with direct line of sight to the swimming pool. We broke the shackles of conventionality and allowed the site’s inherent possibilities to guide the design process, which resulted in a dynamic solution. With sustainability always a primary consideration, optimum orientation combined with slab-on-ground construction and high-performing windows ensure year-round comfort for the occupants, with minimal mechanical assistance..”  Interesting form; extensive glazing, natural light, garden views..

image: Robert Hamer; article: Contemporist

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Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Interiors, Residential Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

* Residential Architecture: The FLOAT House – Make it Right by Morphosis Architects

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 4 August 2012

Residential Architecture: The FLOAT House – Make it Right by Morphosis Architects: “..The FLOAT House is a new kind of house: a house that can sustain its own water and power needs; a house that can survive the floodwaters generated by a storm the size of Hurricane Katrina; and perhaps most importantly, a house that can be manufactured cheaply enough to function as low-income housing..Make It: Affordable: A new approach to mass-producing low-cost homes that respond to local culture and climate..The FLOAT House optimizes the efficiency of mass-production, while respecting New Orleans’s unique culture and context. The Ninth Ward’s colorful vernacular houses, which local residents have traditionally modified and personalized over time, reflect the community’s vibrant culture. The FLOAT House grows out of the indigenous typology of the shotgun house, predominant throughout New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward. Like a typical shotgun house, the FLOAT House sits atop a raised base. This innovative base, or “chassis,” integrates all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainable systems, and securely floats in case of flooding. Inspired by GM’s skateboard chassis, which is engineered to support several car body types, the FLOAT House’s chassis is designed to support a variety of customizable house configurations..Developed to meet the needs of families in New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, the FLOAT House is a prototype for prefabricated, affordable housing that can be adapted to the needs of flood zones worldwide. The FLOAT House is assembled on-site from pre-fabricated components:

  • The modular chassis is pre-fabricated as a single unit of expanded polystyrene foam coated in glass fiber reinforced concrete, with all required wall anchors, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems pre-installed. The chassis module is shipped whole from factory to site, via standard flat bed trailer.
  • The piers that anchor the house to the ground and the concrete pads on which the chassis sits are constructed on-site, using local labor and conventional construction techniques.
  • The panelized walls, windows, interior finishes and kit-of parts roof are prefabricated, to be assembled on-site along with the installation of fixtures and appliances. This efficient approach integrates modern mass-production with traditional site construction to lower costs, guarantee quality, and reduce waste.

Make It: Float: A flood-safe house that securely floats with rising water levels..Global climate change is triggering ever-harsher floods and natural disasters. Nearly 200 million people worldwide live in high risk coastal flooding zones , and in the US alone, over 36 million people currently face the threat of flooding. The FLOAT House prototype proposes a sustainable way of living that adapts to this uncertain reality..To protect from flooding, the FLOAT House can rise vertically on guide posts, securely floating up to twelve feet as water levels rise. In the event of a flood, the house’s chassis acts as a raft, guided by steel masts, which are anchored to the ground by two concrete pile caps each with six 45-foot deep piles..Like the vernacular New Orleans shotgun house, the FLOAT House sits on a 4-foot base; rather than permanently raising the house on ten foot or higher stilts, the house only rises in case of severe flooding. This configuration accommodates a traditional front porch, preserving of the community’s vital porch culture and facilitating accessibility for elderly and disabled residents..While not designed for occupants to remain in the home during a hurricane, the FLOAT House aims to minimize catastrophic damage and preserve the homeowner’s investment in their property. This approach also allows for the early return of occupants in the aftermath of a hurricane or flood..Make It: Green: A high-performance house that generates and sustains its own water and power needs..On track for a LEED Platinum Rating, the FLOAT House is an innovative model for affordable, net-zero annual energy consumption housing. High-performance systems sustain the home’s power, air, and water needs, and minimize resource consumption:

  • Solar Power Generation: The roof supports solar panels that generate all of the house’s power, resulting in net-zero annual energy consumption. The chassis incorporates electrical systems to store and convert solar power for daily use, and to give back to the electrical grid during the temperate fall and spring months.
  • Rainwater Collection: The sloped concave roof collects rainwater, and funnels it to cisterns housed in the chassis, where it is filtered and stored for daily use.
  • Efficient Systems—including low-flow plumbing fixtures, low-energy appliances, high performance windows, and highly insulated SIPs (Structural Insulated Panel) walls and roof—minimize water and power consumption, and lower the lifecycle cost for the home owner.
  • High-grade energy efficient kitchen, appliances and fixtures maximize durability and reduce the need for replacement.
  • Geothermal Heating and Cooling: A geothermal mechanical system heats and cools the air via a ground source heat pump, which naturally conditions the air, minimizing the energy required to cool the house in the harsh summer months and heat it in winter..

See our post on another home for Make It Right for post-Katrina New Orleans: Residential Architecture: Duplex by Frank Gehry for Make it Right.

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image: © Iwan Baan; article: “The FLOAT House – Make it Right / Morphosis Architects” 02 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. <;

Posted in Architects, Architecture, Architecture + Design, Contemporary Architecture, contemporary design, Design, Designalog, Green Design, Humanitarian Design, Interiors, Residential Architecture, Social Architecture, Solar Design, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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