architects, cleveland, washington, sustainability, residential designA house is more than an idea; it is a human generated physical entity; it must be constructed. It should be constructed to conserve nonrenewable resources and in a manner that is lifting to the human spirit. Now, the question is “how is to be constructed”?

The construction methodology for this home is independent from the ridged dictates of architectural style and predetermined construction methods. The flexibility of this home is derived from a modular concept that allows for adaptation to varying locations, cultures, and construction techniques. The modular concept allows it to be constructed in Cleveland utilizing local materials, craftsmen, and conventional methods while respecting the character and scale of its neighborhood, or it may be factory manufactured utilizing systems components, new high tech materials, containerized, shipped, and erected in South America by local inhabitants. This home is planned utilizing standard sizes of the material for its module. In this instance, poured in place concrete and timber/lumber control the module from which to work.

With carbon neutrality as the ultimate objective, this home proactively addresses the issue of heat loss. Its envelope must withstand natures degrading forces. It must limit conduction and infiltration as the major sources of heat loss. This home reduces conduction by means of insulation and infiltration by reducing or eliminating opening in the exterior walls exposed to these degrading forces.

The exterior walls of the first floor are insulated (R 24) reinforced concrete masonry units. The exterior walls of the second floor are insulated (R 21) 2”X6” wood studs @ 24” O.C. The roof is insulated (R 38) 2”X6’ T&G wood decking. Validating this home as a solid beginning from which to construct a carbon neutral home may best be illustrated as follows. The smallest available whole house heating plant is 33% LARGER than is required to heat this home.

The structural system selected for the roof and interior framing is post and beam. This system is conventional, regional, aesthetically pleasing, and reduces or eliminates the need for interior finishes. It reduces the time and materials needed for the homes construction and reduces waste.

The exterior is Eastern White Cedar Shingles and “tumbled” concrete masonry units. They also are conventional, regional, aesthetically pleasing, and reduce or eliminate the need for finishes. Also, they are virtually maintenance free within a renewable timeframe.