Iconic Farnsworth House gets a conceptual, sustainable redesign

October 19, 2020 by  
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As a design exercise, California-based architecture firm Jeff Barrett Studio has reimagined Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House for the modern times with a sustainable redesign that includes onsite renewable energy and modular construction. Conceived as a case study for sustainability that would still pay homage to the original architectural style, the proposed design follows the same building footprint while introducing a new materials palette and energy-saving features. Located in Plano, Illinois, about an hour west of Chicago, the Farnsworth House is recognized worldwide as a masterpiece of International Style of architecture. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed and constructed the 1,500-square-foot structure between 1945 and 1951 as a country retreat for his client, Dr. Edith Farnsworth. Built with two slabs, a series of steel columns and expansive floor-to-ceiling glass throughout, the minimalist home was created to usher the natural landscape indoors. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and currently operates as a historic house museum that welcomes over 10,000 guests from around the world annually. Related: Gorgeous Miesian-inspired glass pavilion floats above a natural dam Jeff Barrett Studios has revisited the structure with a conceptual redesign that features both low-tech and high-tech sustainable strategies. “How might this dwelling be reinvisioned [ sic ] today given current technologies, would the structure remain significant aesthetically, and how might it function as a case study for sustainability?” the architects said in a project statement. “The project has been developed with consideration to sustainable concepts and innovative technologies reaching high energy performance and constructability.” Instead of the original steel-and-glass palette, the architects propose building the structure with cross-laminated timber , more specifically acetylated wood (Accoya) for its durability and resistance to decay. The use of CLT would also allow for modular construction, which would reduce material waste. The iconic full-height windows would have low-E glazing, while operable skylights on the roof introduce an element of passive ventilation. The roof would be covered in photovoltaic panels and vegetation, and a natural swimming pool would round out the property.  + Jeff Barrett Studio Images via Jeff Barrett Studio

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Iconic Farnsworth House gets a conceptual, sustainable redesign

Architecture students design a LEED Platinum home with an ADU in Kansas

October 19, 2020 by  
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Every year as part of Studio 804 , University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design graduate students design and build an energy-efficient home for the community — and this year’s home not only achieved LEED Platinum certification but also comes with an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to fight suburban sprawl. The 2020 project, known as 722 Ash Street House, consists of a 1,500-square-foot primary house with a contiguous 500-square-foot ADU located in North Lawrence. The modern and sustainable home is equipped with a south-facing, 4.9-kW solar power system and a highly insulated building envelope. The 722 Ash Street House project was created as part of Studio 804, a yearlong comprehensive educational opportunity for Masters of Architecture students at the University of Kansas, which has completed 14 LEED Platinum buildings and achieved three Passive House certifications to date. The most recent project in North Lawrence takes inspiration from the Midwestern farmstead vernacular with its three gabled volumes clad in vertically oriented wood. The cladding, which was sustainably fabricated in the Austrian town of Sankt Veit an der Glan, is a composite material of raw pulpwood, recycled wood and natural resins selected for its durability and low maintenance. Related: Students fight urban sprawl with a subdivision for two LEED Platinum houses The primary 1,500-square-foot residence consists of two bedrooms, one full bath, one half bath, a great room and a full kitchen. The studio took advantage of the permissions in the zoning district to add a 500-square-foot ADU with a wet bar, full bath and flex space attached. Large windows bring an abundance of natural light indoors and frame views of the many mature trees for which North Lawrence is known. “Studio 804 continues their long standing pattern of maintaining the highest level of sustainable design while remaining contextually sensitive to the surrounding community,” reads a statement by Studio 804. “This house, like every Studio 804 project since 2008, is USGBC LEED Platinum Certified.” + Studio 804 Photography by Corey Gaffer via Studio 804

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Architecture students design a LEED Platinum home with an ADU in Kansas

LEED Platinum-seeking home in Cincinnati asks $3.25 million

October 14, 2020 by  
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Near the border of Ohio and Kentucky, a stunning sustainable home has hit the market for $3,249,000. Designed by local architect Jose Garcia , the home was built with natural materials, from the exterior cladding of cedar and cypress wood to the interior use of century-year-old reclaimed Douglas fir. The Douglas fir was sourced from a demolished cotton mill and used for the ceiling and walls. The Cincinnati home is in the process of obtaining LEED platinum certification and boasts 38 solar panels on the roof, a geothermal energy system and a smart home system for optimizing energy efficiency. Located at 1059 Celestial Street, the custom, single-family home in the city’s Mt. Adams suburb spans 6,778 square feet on a quarter-acre lot with four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and a three-car garage. The home’s elevated location allows for stunning views of downtown Cincinnati as well as the Ohio River, which marks the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky. A rooftop deck with a fire pit and a vegetable garden bed takes advantage of these panoramic views. The main bedroom, which is bathed in light by a skylight, connects to a bridge that leads directly to the rooftop deck.  Related: Architecture students design and build a LEED Platinum smart home in Kansas Natural light and a sense of spaciousness define the interiors of the modern home, which is centered on an atrium . The atrium allows for direct sight lines from the entrance to the pocket sliding glass doors, which open up to a 45-foot-long balcony along the entire side of the home. Full-height windows, a natural materials palette and a courtyard garden also help to usher the outdoor landscape indoors, while tall ceilings and an open-plan layout direct views toward downtown Cincinnati. The abundance of wood that lines the interior is complemented by exposed brick and concrete in parts of the home. The kitchen cabinetry, designed by the architect, is bleached European White Oak and paired with white quartzite countertops. To meet LEED Platinum standards, double-pane windows imported from Luxembourg were installed throughout the residence. Two geothermal wells were drilled beneath the driveway to provide an additional energy source to solar, which collected from the solar array on the front part of the roof. In addition to home automation, the building is equipped with an air-purifying system that filters air in the entire home. The property is listed with Coldwell Banker . + Jose Garcia Design Images via Coldwell Banker

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Mature trees shape a leafy, light-filled home in Mexico

October 9, 2020 by  
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South of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, local architecture firm  Estudio Radillo Alba  has completed the Casa R.A., a family of five’s countryside home that takes its site-specific massing from the existing trees on site. Designed for a client who wanted a home that would make the most of the available land surface, the single-family dwelling embraces indoor/outdoor living with floor-to-ceiling windows and patios full of lush vegetation throughout the home.  Five mature trees shaped the design of Casa R.A., with designers arranging the building around the trees’ root systems. Two of the three trees, located at the front of the site, define the location of the garage, while another tree at the side of the home marks the main entrance. The remaining trees in the rear of the property provide shade and shelter to a back terrace. An  open-plan  living area, kitchen, dining space and small powder room reside on the ground floor. The second floor contains the master bedroom along with three secondary bedrooms and three baths. Sections of the home utilize cut-outs to make way for plant-filled patios, accesses and terraces. The home’s material palette stays light, using only mud-brick from a nearby region known for its mud-brick techniques. Related: Brick cladding conceals a family home’s sophisticated, zero-energy systems “The house was conceived as one single block which called for a single choice of material ,” the architects explained in a project statement. “Close to the plot, there is a region known for its production of mud-brick, a technique still practiced in some parts of the country. Its cultural value and its constructive heritage encouraged us to use it as a single material for the project’s envelope. The customized exposed brick covers and protects all structural elements, slabs, and mechanical installations while intending to reveal the constructive system and pay homage to the laborious process of the artisanal material.” + Estudio Radillo Alba Images via Ce?sar Belio

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Mature trees shape a leafy, light-filled home in Mexico

Cold Spring Residence, a family’s low-impact weekend retreat

October 2, 2020 by  
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Developed by architect and artist couple Jared and Carolina Della Valle, this stunning family  retreat  in the Hudson River Valley is driven by high sustainability standards. Located on 11 acres in Cold Spring, New York near where Carolina grew up, the house functions as a weekend escape for the family. Wary of the environmental effect that a second home could present, the designer set out to create a building with minimal impact on its natural surroundings. While planning and building the home, the designer made every effort to lessen the environmental impact. Jared’s company, Alloy, prides itself on being guided by professionals seeking to positively contribute to the built environment with sustainability at the forefront. The firm developed New York’s first two  passive house  schools and Brooklyn’s first all-electric skyscraper. Related: Contemporary Camp O communes with nature in the Catskills Cold Spring Residence, standing at 4,500 square feet and built to passive house standards, features a full  solar  array providing year-round energy to the home. All of the site’s natural resources are preserved, and a newly-planted meadow fills the remaining landscape with native plants that thrive all year long. The majority of the house uses raw  concrete  and pine finished with a natural tar resistant to bugs and woodpeckers, with bleached oak for the interior. Bedrooms reside on the cantilevered upper floor, allowing sunlight into the living spaces. Meanwhile, a two-story deep skylight shines into the kitchen. Inside, the concrete walls use old forms to create intentional imperfections and inconsistencies to produce a more organic look. Jared found and restored a steel pipeline to construct the outdoor shower, and an indoor-outdoor terrace promotes uninterrupted views of the valley. A sense of  minimalism  remains apparent in the home’s design and construction, making it conducive to a low maintenance lifestyle. This style gives the family more time to relax while enjoying the property’s natural environment. + Alloy Development Via Wallpaper

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Cold Spring Residence, a family’s low-impact weekend retreat

This luxurious home is a pollutant-free paradise and it’s for sale

October 1, 2020 by  
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Located in Norwalk, Connecticut, this recently listed pollutant-free home at 88 Old Saugatuck Road has been void of chemicals, insecticides and pesticides for more than 26 years. The house has been rebuilt to 100% green standards by the seller, an award-winning LEED AP interior designer specializing in sustainable luxury, green consulting and holistic homes. The house at 88 Old Saugatuck Road isn’t just an energy-efficient, green home built with non-toxic materials and finishes — it is also a stunning example of a residence with clean air . The indoor air is refreshed every 20 minutes with a specialized heat recovery ventilation system that exchanges indoor air with fresh outdoor air. The system filters out allergens like dust, pollen, mold, mites, dander and VOCs all while recovering up to 80% of the heating and cooling energy. There is even a whole house central vacuum system designed to prevent dust from going back into the air while vacuuming. Related: IKEA’s new air purifying curtain will decrease indoor pollutants Thoughtfully constructed with fewer natural resources to minimize its environmental impact , the house also has custom, FSC-certified solid rock maple cabinetry throughout. The cabinetry is free from interior particleboard and formaldehyde-based finishes. Additionally, the walls and trim are painted with no-VOC, water-based latex paint. During the remodel, when a wall was taken out between the original kitchen and living room, the design team reused the appliances in a lower-level catering kitchen rather than purchasing them new. The garage has a charging station for electric vehicles as well as an automatic air filtration system that activates for 20 minutes each time the car pulls in to filter harmful fumes. To reduce electromagnetic fields, there is metal-clad cable electric wiring used instead of non-metallic sheathing. For landscaping, the property’s 1.15 acres are planted with trees and pines to help filter out any car fumes from the street and organic, perennial gardens to promote less maintenance. A driveway storm drain filters pollutants before runoff can enter local waterways, and a five-ring meditation walkway can be found in the back garden . The 4,094-square-foot, single-family home has three bedrooms, three full baths and a two-car garage. + Coldwell Banker Images via Coldwell Banker

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An indoor-outdoor home in Colombia is remodeled with local reclaimed wood

September 29, 2020 by  
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Located at the top of a mountain in Colombia’s Calandaíma River Valley, Casa Volcanes is a stunning home that promotes indoor-outdoor living and natural materials . Martínez Arquitectura kept the project budget low by choosing local and handmade elements in its redesign. Eighty percent of the woodwork for the home was reclaimed from demolition deposits in nearby Bogotá. Dark materials are used both for economic value and to highlight the raw sensation of the building’s relationship with its environmental surroundings. The architects chose handmade chircal brick to continue the home’s theme of blending seamlessly into the forest. Its location in Anapoima, just two hours from Bogotá, provides incredible jungle views and serene scenery that are enhanced by the locally sourced building materials. Related: This Costa Rican treehouse is built entirely out of locally sourced teak wood “Its hot tropical climate is a discovery of sensations and surprises. From time to time, you can feel the extreme humidity of the fog, the torrential rain and the blizzards that scare, as well as the dry periods of high temperatures, which suggest fires,” said Marisol, owner of Casa Volcanes. “The delight of the air and the insatiable sound of cicadas and frogs, of birds and insects inviting you to stay, are always a fundamental part of this marvelous environment.” Originally, the plot had a one-level construction, typical for a home in the Colombian coffee zone. Casa Volcanes, though it revolved around a communal space with picturesque windows surrounded by railings, had rudimentary and barely functional amenities. The owner wanted to keep the magical, organic feel of the place while updating the space to provide a more contemporary functionality. The kitchen is remodeled with a cobblestone floor, a new opening to the south and more space for social gatherings. The rooms themselves now act as semi-open spaces with mobile doors that allow them to be extended into the gardens. The designers kept the high ceilings and rustic lattices to respect the essence of the house, but painted the exterior a darker shade to create a reduction in thermal sensation and complement the stone rainwater pond. The existing railings are shortened to make their presence less obvious yet still harmonious to the property. + Martínez Arquitectura Photography by Carlos Alberto Martínez Valencia, Jesús Fiallo and Ana María Díaz Parra via Martínez Arquitectura y Fiallo Atelier

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An indoor-outdoor home in Colombia is remodeled with local reclaimed wood

Old industrial building is now an energy-efficient complex in London

September 21, 2020 by  
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International practice Make Architects has transformed a 1950s industrial building into the Asta House, a mixed-use development comprising commercial offices, luxury and affordable residences, retail spaces and a new pocket park in London’s Fitzrovia. Developed for Derwent London, the adaptive reuse project was sustainably designed to retain as much of the original facade and structure as possible while injecting the building with a new, contemporary aesthetic. Make Architects also reduced the project’s long-term carbon footprint by installing triple glazing, additional insulation, operable windows and solar hot water heating panels to preheat domestic hot water for the entire building. Located on a corner site between Whitfield Street and Chitty Street, the Asta House features 36 design-led residences that include one- to three-bedroom apartments, 10 social apartments and four intermediate apartments. The architects also added two additional stories — carefully stepped back from the facade to preserve the building’s architectural integrity — to house a pair of penthouse apartments. By setting back the penthouses, the architects created space for extensive private decks. The other apartments in the building share a courtyard terrace backing Charlotte Mews, and all residents will have access to Poets Park, a 240-square-meter pocket park with a small cafe. Related: The origami-like monocoque pavilion in London is shaped by its environment The Asta House’s contemporary interiors feature a restrained material and color palette and are flooded with natural light from large windows. Contrast is created with black detailing against white backgrounds and the juxtaposition of rougher tactile elements with smooth surfaces. Built-in furniture helps achieve a streamlined appearance.  “The modern, yet intimate scale and design of this project aims to appeal to those who want a character-rich home in this bohemian area,” said architect Kunwook Kang. “Externally the project is completely respectful of its location, chiming with surrounding colours and massing. Internally our choice of materials was key. We’ve created smooth, consistent interiors that make the most of original features and crafted new ones to provide not only functional, efficient homes, but also spaces that delight.”  + Make Architects Images via Jack Hobhouse and Make Architects

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Gardenhouse in Beverly Hills boasts one of the nations largest green walls

September 4, 2020 by  
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International architectural practice MAD Architects has completed the Gardenhouse, a mixed-use development in Beverly Hills that is the firm’s first project in the U.S. and hosts one of the largest living green walls in the country. Designed to mimic the neighborhood’s lush and hilly landscape, Gardenhouse combines ground-floor commercial space with 18 above-ground residential units that appear to “grow” out of the building’s living green wall. Inspired by a “hillside village,” the residential units appear as a cluster of white gabled structures of varying sizes for an eye-catching and playful look. Located at 8600 Wilshire Boulevard on a prominent corner lot, the 48,000-square-foot Gardenhouse immediately draws the eye with its massive, two-story green wall covered in lush plantings of native , drought-tolerant succulents and vines selected for minimal maintenance and irrigation. True to the design’s image of a “hillside village,” the building offers a variety of housing typologies including two studios, eight condominiums, three townhouses and five villas. Each unit is defined by a pitched-roof volume and comes with an independent entry and exit circulation route as well as access to underground parking. Related: MAD brings a surreal sports campus that mimics a green, martian landscape to China At the heart of the cluster of white gabled “houses” is a private, second-floor landscaped courtyard that the architects have dubbed a surprising “secret garden” in an urban environment. Each home is also equipped with a balcony for overlooking the shared courtyard.  “ Los Angeles and Beverly Hills are highly modernized and developed,” said Ma Yansong, founder of MAD Architects. “Their residences on the hills seemingly coexist with the urban environment. However, they also see enclosed movement at their core. The commune connection between the urban environment and nature is isolated. What new perspectives, and new value, can we bring to Los Angeles? Perhaps, we can create a hill in the urban context, so people can live on it and make it a village. This place will be half urban, half nature. This can offer an interesting response to Beverly Hills: a neighborhood which is often carefully organized and maintained, now with a witty, playful new resident.” + MAD Architects Photography by Nic Lehoux and Darren Bradley via MAD Architects

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Gardenhouse in Beverly Hills boasts one of the nations largest green walls

Worlds largest Passive House building to open in Kansas City

August 31, 2020 by  
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The largest Passive House building in the world is set to welcome its first tenants this October in the historic River Market of downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The luxury apartment community — dubbed Second + Delaware — will offer high-end amenities alongside energy-efficient advantages with 80% to 90% energy savings compared to conventional buildings. Jointly developed by Arnold Development Group and Yarco Development, the apartment complex will offer 276 apartment residences including studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units surrounding a central courtyard. Set atop a bluff in the walkable River Market neighborhood, Second + Delaware champions sustainable urban design with its placement and design. The developers took on a 100-year perspective in creating the 330,000-square-foot property, which is centered on a large and spacious shared courtyard. Accessible green space is also found in the landscaping surrounding the building and on the planted rooftops. Related: Award-winning passive tiny house is insulated to combat New Zealand’s weather User comfort and energy efficiency is achieved with triple-glazed , certified windows set within highly insulated frames that let in an abundance of natural light without risking energy loss. Constant fresh air is funneled inside with a Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS), while superior indoor air quality is ensured with a ventilation system and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps. The building envelope is also made airtight with 16-inch-thick walls that include a 6-inch layer of insulation sandwiched between 10 inches of concrete. “Now is the time for developers to think bigger than ever before,” said Jonathan Arnold, co-developer and principal of Arnold Development Group. “We have the technologies we need to deliver safer, more responsible, and equally beautiful solutions to the built world. I hope that Second + Delaware will be the impetus that moves our industry forward.” In addition to energy-efficient appliances, residents will also have access to a saltwater swimming pool, bookable raised rooftop garden beds, fitness and yoga facilities, bicycle storage and electric car -sharing stations. + Second + Delaware Images by Arnold Imaging

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