Contemporary barn-inspired home adheres to passive house principles

July 31, 2019 by  
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Delivering a modern twist to local historic building practices, London-based architectural practice Bureau de Change has recently completed a new home that takes inspiration from traditional farm structures in the Cotswolds, a rural area of south central England. A pair of timber chicken sheds, nearly 100 feet long each, was used as the starting point of the design for the Long House. In addition to respecting the local rural vernacular, the thoughtfully crafted home also follows passive house principles to reduce energy use without sacrificing comfort year-round. Located near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, England, the Long House spans approximately 5,400 square feet across three gabled volumes that have been given two different exterior treatments. The single-story volume to the front is built from stone, while the volume in the rear—split into two parts—is sheathed in natural larch that will gain a natural patina over time. The contrast adds visual richness and the materials selected will naturally develop a patina over time to blend the buildings into the surroundings. “The front barn has been built in dry stone wall by a local craftsman, chosen not only for its local relevance but for its inherent qualities of mass and muscularity,” explains Bureau de Change Architects co-founder Katerina Dionysopoulou. “This facade is monolithic, with fewer openings to produce a heavier, solid volume at the front. As a counterpoint, the taller barn in the back is clad in lighter-weight natural larch which has been charred to a deep leathery black at each window recess. This charring has then been brushed away to gently blend it into the natural larch—creating an ombre effect which emphasizes the rhythmic push and pull of the window indentations.” Related: British farmer plants heart-shaped meadow in honor of his late wife Inside, the front volume hides an inner courtyard that’s hidden behind the elevation and serves as a light-filled focal point for the home. To meet passive house principles , the architects constructed the building with an insulated concrete formwork system to create an airtight thermal envelope. Openings are limited on the south-facing facade and triple-pane glass was installed to minimize unwanted heat gain and loss. Air quality is maintained with a heat recovery ventilation system. + Bureau de Change Images by Gilbert McCarragher

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Contemporary barn-inspired home adheres to passive house principles

Benjamin Fleury creates affordable, modern apartments with a low-energy footprint in Paris

July 30, 2019 by  
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Local architecture practice Benjamin Fleury has completed a residential complex with 26 affordable apartments in Montreuil, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris. Affordable housing cooperative COOPIMMO commissioned the design and construction of the building as part of its mission to produce social accommodations with a “renting-purchasing system.” Thoughtfully integrated into the suburban context, the contemporary apartment complex also boasts low-energy consumption and has earned the MINERGIE-P label for its energy-efficient features. Located on the Rue des Chantereines, the 26 Apartments in Montreuil is surrounded by a mix of 1960s housing blocks that range from structures that are five to 10 stories in height to smaller, standalone homes with gardens. Creating a building sensitive to these different building typologies was paramount to the design, as was injecting a contemporary morphology. As a result, the architects decided to split the affordable housing complex into two blocks: a street-facing “urban” block that sits opposite the multistory, midcentury housing blocks and a second “residential” block tucked farther back on the block. A communal garden and gathering space planted with deciduous trees occupies the space between the two buildings. Related: A vacant lot in New Orleans is converted into resilient and affordable housing for war veterans “These accommodations where first offered to local families who could not easily afford to be owners,” Benjamin Fleury said in a project statement. “The principle of the social ownership is simple: in addition to the regulation of low prices, families can contract a loan without pre-existing capital, and then become owners after a first step of renting. Because of the economic flimsiness of the buyers, who already have to assume their loans, it appeared essential to reduce effectively the maintenance costs of the building.” In addition to reducing the cost of maintenance, the architects wanted to reduce energy costs. Passive solar principles were followed to take advantage of natural light, ventilation and shading while heat loss and unwanted solar gain are mitigated with triple-glazed windows. Insulation is also built into the double-layered facade. A double-flow mechanical ventilation system and solar hot water heaters help reduce heating demands. + Benjamin Fleury Photography by David Boureau via Benjamin Fleury

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Benjamin Fleury creates affordable, modern apartments with a low-energy footprint in Paris

Architect designs and builds his dream Passive House in New York

May 13, 2019 by  
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After three years of research and development, architect Wayne Turett of New York City-based architectural firm The Turett Collaborative has designed and built his long-awaited Passive House in the village of Greenport, New York. Built to the rigorous standards of the Passive House Institute, the airtight dwelling combines cutting-edge technologies with passive solar principles to minimize its energy footprint and meet Turett’s aspirations for a carbon-neutral design. Held as an example of energy-efficient construction that doesn’t compromise on appearance, the Greenport Passive House was designed to match the aesthetic of the surrounding vernacular with a contemporary twist. The two-story home features a historical barn exterior with ship-lapped gray cedar and cement, while the roof is made from aluminum. Inside, the modern house features clean lines and a light and neutral color palette. The open-plan layout and tall ceilings bring an urban, loft-like feel to the home. The three key aspects of the Greenport Passive House were an airtight envelope; superior insulation that includes triple-glazed windows to lock in heat and protect against cold drafts; and additions that block unwanted solar heat gain, such as roof overhangs. The all-electric home is heated and cooled with a duct mini-split system and is also equipped with an energy recovery ventilation system. As a result, Turett’s house, as with other Passive Houses, consumes approximately 90 percent less heating energy than existing buildings and 75 percent less energy than average new construction, according to his project’s press release. Related: This passive house in the Czech Republic uses technology to recycle heat Turett added, “Greenport is more than just an oasis for my family; it is a living model for clients and meant to inspire others, that despite costing a little more to build, the results of living in a Passive Home will more than pay for itself in energy savings and helping the environment .” + The Turett Collaborative Images via The Turett Collaborative

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Architect designs and builds his dream Passive House in New York

Rammed earth ties a contemporary home to the rocky New Zealand landscape

March 8, 2019 by  
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Emerging out of the landscape like a series of boulders, the Kanuka Valley House set into a lush valley in Wanaka, New Zealand mimics the large schist rocks that punctuate the pristine landscape. Wellington-based architectural practice WireDog Architecture designed the angular home for a winemaker and his family, who wanted the house to respect the beauty of the natural landscape. To that end, the architects not only modeled the building off of local rock formations, but also used a natural materials palette and rammed earth construction to visually tie the home to the land. Spanning an area of 3,390 square feet, the Kanuka Valley House consists of three northwest-facing volumes carefully positioned to maximize indoor-outdoor living . Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding pocket doors create a seamless flow between the indoors and out while framing stunning vistas of the Kanuka trees, Lake Wanaka and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The outdoors are also pulled in through the abundance of timber surfaces used indoors, from the reclaimed native rimu wood used for floors and ceilings to the cabinetry built of bamboo and OSB. The appliances and other materials, such as the steel counters, also follow the earthy and muted aesthetic. Related: Eco-friendly guesthouse in Brazil sports a green roof and rammed earth walls The beautiful rammed earth walls, which have been left exposed and unpainted, not only tie the building to the landscape, but also have the added benefit of thermal mass. During the daytime, heat is absorbed in the walls, which then slowly dissipate the stored warmth at night when temperatures are cooler. This advantage of energy-efficient construction is strengthened with the addition of  triple-glazed windows and deep roof overhangs that mitigate unwanted solar heat gain. The architects said, “The design engages passive house principles , with attention to insulation detailing, materials, ventilation and heating.” + WireDog Architecture Via Dwell Photography by Matthieu Salvaing via WireDog Architecture

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Rammed earth ties a contemporary home to the rocky New Zealand landscape

Natural light floods this energy-efficient Dublin home from all sides

July 2, 2018 by  
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London and Dublin-based design practice Anthro Architecture recently completed Villa 9010, a light-filled dwelling that takes cues from the region’s breezy seaside vernacular. Located in Dakley, South County Dublin, the energy-efficient Villa 9010 was completed for a young family in the side garden of the client’s redbrick childhood home. Triple-glazed windows combined with underfloor heating, highly efficient insulation, an air-to-air heat pump and mechanical heat recovery ventilation ensure a low-energy footprint with a BER rating of A2. Villa 9010 is a contemporary, energy-efficient take on the nearby buildings found in the coastal village and is also inspired by the grandeur of the eye-catching 19th-century castellated school gates next door. Constructed in the place of the client’s former garage and boat shed, the new steel-framed and concrete masonry villa is divided into two levels, with the primary living spaces placed on the ground floor while the four bedrooms are located above. A cantilevered oak staircase that connects the two floors serves as a focal point and the open risers offer views to the sunken living area and rear garden. “The Client[s] were drawn to the sense of optimism and escape that comes with a seaside villa and sought to create a light-filled energy efficient home suitable for a young family that was in-line with their modest budget,” wrote Anthro Architecture in a statement. “Defined by the imposing 19th century castellated gates to the neighbouring school, the design carefully carves a space for a new residential dwelling, nestling itself respectfully beside its prominent neighbour while also drawing on the wider context of the bright seaside villas in the surrounding area.” Related: Incredible glass home stays comfortably snug even in extreme temperatures The interiors are minimally dressed with white walls and oak floors that emphasize the play of light throughout the home. Aluminum-framed timber glazing overlooks views of the outdoors. The most light-filled space in the house is undoubtedly the double-height library illuminated by skylights and a large south-facing triple-glazed atrium . + Anthro Architecture Images by Ste Murray

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Natural light floods this energy-efficient Dublin home from all sides

Super-insulated modern log cabin withstands frigid Finnish winters in style

December 26, 2017 by  
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Winters in Finland can plunge to a freezling -22 degrees Fahrenheit, but those chilling temperatures are no match for this well-insulated log cabin. Crafted by Helsinki-based company Pluspuu , this Log Villa on the Coast was commissioned as a client’s second home on the Turku coast. The light-filled abode harnesses geothermal energy for heating and cooling, and boasts superior insulation as well as triple-glazed windows. Built by Ollikaisen Hirsirakenne Oy with the latest Finnish log construction technology, this modern log villa is a custom, site-specific build that gave rise to one of Pluspuu’s newest house models, the Kustavi 125. Topped with a mono-pitched metal roof, the 125-square-meter two-bedroom home is raised off the ground and wrapped in black-stained glue-laminated timber . Black-painted aluminum window frames surround the large triple-glazed windows. Two covered terraces extend living space outdoors. Related: This modern log home in Finland is heated by the earth The light-filled interior is lined with timber treated with white wood wax and special batten wall panels, while clinker is used for the floors. Sweeping landscape and sea views can be enjoyed from the open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area, as well as from the sauna . For insulation, the architects used 202-millimeter-thick laminated log walls and 500-millimeter-thick wood fiber insulation for the roof. Pluspuu (Finnish for “plus wood”) provides high-quality log houses in a variety of models and promotes the use of timber as a “breathable material with indisputably positive health effects.” + Pluspuu Via ArchDaily Images © Samuli Miettinen

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Super-insulated modern log cabin withstands frigid Finnish winters in style

Exceptional prefab alpine shelter overlooks mind-boggling mountain views

September 9, 2015 by  
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Exceptional prefab alpine shelter overlooks mind-boggling mountain views

US Embassy in Helsinki Achieves LEED Platinum Status

May 5, 2014 by  
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The US Embassy in Helsinki, Finland designed by Moore Ruble Yudell is the first US diplomatic facility to achieve LEED Platinum certification . The energy efficient Innovation Center unveiled in 2013 has been joined by a new chancery and a retrofitted chancery, both of which were designed with sustainability in mind. Later this year a new ambassador’s residence built to the same LEED Platinum standards will be added to the campus, which boasts natural ventilation and triple glazed windows in addition to a slew of other green design strategies. Read the rest of US Embassy in Helsinki Achieves LEED Platinum Status Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco design , green design , LED lighting , LEED Platinum US Embassy , Moore Ruble Yudell , sustainable design , triple glazed windows , US Embassy Helsinki

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US Embassy in Helsinki Achieves LEED Platinum Status

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