We just received images of this net zero home that was designed by HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, for two environmental attorneys. One of the attorneys works for the Environmental Protection Agency so maximum sustainability was the only option. However, the environment wasn’t the only design caveat. The owners—a small family with two dogs—also needed a showcase for their expansive art collection of two- and three-dimensional pieces, and requested casual living spaces to accommodate everyday living.
The house was designed in three zones: public, private and the garage. An entry that functions as an airlock separates the garage from the public zone defining the entry as well as help keeping pollutants from entering the main house.
After interviewing several firms in the area, the owners chose HMH Architecture + Interiors in Boulder, Colorado, a firm that specializes in art collection-driven home design, to create home that would be a work of art in its own right.
A seamless integration of the environment, art and family life, the home is a sculptural plan with long, uninterrupted walls throughout to accommodate and complement the art collection. Windows were carefully sized and located throughout to optimize daylight and art lighting while sheltering the works from direct sunlight.
A living room designed for living. This great room area includes the kitchen, dining area, an open office for homework and telecommuting, a living area for family interaction, and a covered porch for eating and playing outdoors.
To achieve an architectural balance between high-concept design and environmental efficiency, the home was built with sustainable materials throughout, including more cost-effective stucco and metal for the exterior.
“The main goal was to build a house that didn’t leave a carbon footprint,” says principal Harvey Hine, who conducted energy modeling prior to construction, which dictated that the house had to be built with fewer windows than originally intended.
The window design was a study of transparency and heat control optimizing the ideal amount of sunlight to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. With a 10kW solar intake system on the roof and a hot water solar system, the home produces 140% of its energy every year, and the homeowners sell the excess back to Xcel Energy.
No matter how sustainable or sculptural, a home ultimately has to be comfortable and livable, which was the top priority for this small family who wanted the home to serve as a social center for guests and entertaining. The great room includes a kitchen, dining area and an open office for family interaction as well as a covered porch for eating and enjoying the legendary Colorado weather.
An open office for homework and telecommuting. The result is an integration of the environment, living and art, customized for a specific family.
The house is bright, airy and acts as a backdrop for the art, the landscape, and daily family activity. The result of the integration of the environment, art, and daily family activity which has been customized for a specific family and location.
Photos: Courtesy of HMH Architecture + Interiors
Hupomone Ranch is a certified LEED Platinum project designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, nestled on 150 acres in the Chileno Valley, just west of downtown Petaluma, a city in Sonoma County, California. The ranch is an original homestead that had been neglected for over 30 years and the owners wanted to build a family house that would reflect their commitment to sustainable farming, draw on the natural serenity of the site and build on the sense of place in western Petaluma where farming and ranching are still a part of people’s daily lives.
The site has a wonderful balanced quality to it, and the simple grounded form of the barn is sited to compliment this setting and capture the long views to the coastal range beyond. Entering a low porch on the more opaque north side under the loft above, the light-filled house opens up to the expansive view of Sonoma hills to the south and gathers the bedrooms and kitchen to either side.
The house is certified LEED Platinum and features a number of energy saving features exceeding title 24 by over 50 percent. Passive heating and cooling with thermal mass and insulation, Geothermal, radiant cooling and heating along with solar and photovoltaic panels contribute to the house’s energy efficiency. All materials for the project also had to meet specific guidelines, such as lumber that had been sustainably harvested , products produced within a certain distance from the project, or a specified percentage of recycled content.
An integral part of the design, the landscaping by Lutsko Associates includes several outdoor living areas, organized along a riparian restoration and native plantings. To tie it all together, Erin Martin’s interiors compliment the flow of indoor/outdoor living.
Photos: David Wakely
Modern Green Renovation has been carried out by the design team of Marken Projects who turned a 50’s bungalow in Vancouver, British Columbia into a durable, modern and energy efficient home. They added a half storey maximizing the allowable living area (FSR) with the focus on improving the overall energy efficiency, using environmental friendly materials and ensuring a healthy indoor environment for this young family to enjoy. At the same time they gave it a new and exciting look. From the architects, “For us, it is common sense to plan along the Passive Design principles, which essentially means optimizing solar gain, optimizing insulation, ensuring an airtight envelope, installing a high performance heat recovery insulation system and making the house as energy efficient as possible.”
Main energy-efficient features in the home includes: Modern Passive Design, Low-VOC Products, Energuide 86, Air-to-Air Source Heat, Pump for Heating, Airtight Envelope at 1 ACH, Efficient Heat Recovery Ventilation.
The different blue colors on the exterior facade of the residence is stucco. The porch ceiling is engineered cedar wood.
50′s Vancouver Bungalow — Before
Photos: Ema Peter Photography
Net Zero Energy House is modern two-level home completed in 2011 by Klopf Architecture, situated in Cupertino, California. The goal of this project was to score as high as reasonably possible in the “GreenPoint Rated System”. The owners de-constructed their existing home when they realized that any single-story design would completely eliminate their back yard. They wanted the design to be a contemporary interpretation of Eichler in style yet keep their single story neighborhood happy. They wanted to maintain their privacy but also wanted a design that was open and light-filled.
The solution: directed openness, low profile and net-zero energy. The site is a cul-de-sac lot which was the not large enough for a single-story home that would fit the needs of these owners who both work from home. They wanted this to be their “final” residence so Klopf needed to design a larger-than-normal home to suit their lifestyle needs. Instead of adding a second story (and annoying the neighbors) they opted for a partially-submerged lower level that Klopf designed furthest from a basement as possible (with a pulled-back floor plate, a light-filled “atrium” and a lower level light well).
To preserve privacy and bring in light while minimizing unwanted solar heat gain and provide connection to nature, the design team oriented a large window wall north to the back yard while sloping the ceiling of the great room up to increase the light and connection to nature. The sloping roof also provided a surface suitable for mounting the 13.4 kW PV system compared to other building faces that have smaller, punched windows that maximize privacy. The owners were very concerned about the environment, specifically about energy and resource efficiency. They directed Klopf to use materials that would last as long as possible while avoiding “food for termites” and design a high-performance sustainable home.
In conjunction with the Mechanical Engineer they designed a net-zero energy home featuring insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), high-performance windows, cementitious siding, and a 13.4 kW solar Photovoltaic (PV) system sized to cover all the energy use in the house. The new open and light-filled house offers a connection to nature while maintaining privacy. Natural gas would not be used in the home with the possible exception of a backyard BBQ.
Photos: Mariko Reed
Hacienda Ja Ja is a LEED-Platinum home nestled beneath a canopy of live oak trees, designed by Lake Flato Architects, in Alamo Heights, Texas. The 2,328 square foot property is to scale with its neighbors, offering porches that allow its residents to easily engage with activity on the street. Spaces wrap around a small courtyard to maximize natural lighting and ventilation distributed throughout via tall glazings and high ceilings. High-performance features include details like the variety of floors made of polished fly-ash-content concrete, locally sourced stone, engineered wood and locally sourced wood siding installed as a rainscreen system.
Carefully sited to preserve and to protect the live oaks, to promote cross-ventilation and to maximize natural daylighting, the home is also designed to avoid solar thermal gain during the summer and capture passive solar heating during the winter.
Rainwater is collected from the roofs and stored in a below-ground 6,000-gallon tank; during most of the year, captured rain water will supplant domestic water for all landscape irrigation needs.
Photos: Frank Ooms
MINIMOD is a modular home designed and built for relaxed, off-the-grid living, designed by MAPA Architects, situated in Maquiné – Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This 290 square foot (27 square meters) module proposes an innovative, intelligent and sustainable alternative of dwelling. Starting from a minimal module, MINIMOD invests in customization, design and sustainability. The production is carried out in a prefabricated manner and enjoys the steel frame system technology, which lets the client adapt the space to his needs, choosing among different finishes, as well as automation options.
Depending on the composition of the modules, MINIMOD can vary the uses ranging from a compact refuge for weekends, a small showroom for events, up to hotels and inns, combining a larger number of modules. The modules are 100% prefabricated and elevated to a determined place by truck or disassembled into smaller pieces and taken to the ground for final assembly.
The expansion and addition of new modules can be performed either at initial installation or in the middle of the process, according to the needs and budgets of the client.
MINIMOD is more than a product of design, is more than a house. It’s practicality combined with comfort, it’s economy allied to nature, it’s a unique experience of housing and contemporary living.
MINIMOD centralizes production and reduces the emission of CO2 in the atmosphere. The home features a rainwater harvesting mechanism through the green roof. The house is slightly elevated to avoid moisture from penetrating the interior. Ventilated facade gives thermal and acoustic comfort. When night falls, this modular home uses LED lamps to illuminate its interior.
The MINIMOD enjoys the benefits of dry construction technology: quick, clean and efficient. Entirely manufactured and pre-modulated it is easily adaptable to customer needs. Mounted and manufactured in accordance with the premises of the project, it can be transported entirely or in parts.
Photos: Leonardo Finotti
Zero Energy House, designed by Levy Art & Architecture, is the first home in San Francisco, California that is completely self-powering and carbon neutral. The architecture has been developed in conjunction with the mechanical systems and landscape design, each influencing the other to arrive at an integrated solution. Working from the historic facade, the design preserves the traditional formal parlors transitioning to an open plan at the central stairwell, helping to define the distinction between eras. The new floor plates act as passive solar collectors and radiant tubing redistributes collected warmth to the original, North facing portions of the house. Careful consideration has been given to the envelope design of Zero Energy House in order to reduce the overall space conditioning needs, retrofitting the old and maximizing insulation in the new.
The Bar piece is produced by SieMatic cabinets, it is walnut. The cabinets are a wood textured laminate, also by SieMatic. The stair is open to above and takes up an area about 6′-6″ x 10′-0″. the floor to floor height is 10′-6″.
Central skylights above staircase.
View from master bedroom.
Exterior stair back yard to first level.
Solar powered hybrid electric heat pump.
Caruth Boulevard Residence is a modern LEED Gold designed home by owner and architect Tom Reisenbichler, located in Dallas, Texas. When the architect built his 8,300 square foot family dream home, he was determined to prove that being environmentally friendly does not have to rule out luxury. “You can do luxury without being wasteful,” says Tom Reisenbichler, an architect with Perkins+Will who primarily designs hospitals and medical buildings. There is no shortage of either eco-friendly strategies in this three-story home, from photovoltaic solar panels on the roof to flooring made from recycled television tubes and countertops of recycled mirror glass, materials were chosen carefully; ninety percent of them are recycled or reclaimed.
In our world where many associate sustainable (green) design with a bohemian lifestyle, while others consider luxury wasteful, this house is designed to prove they are not exclusive. Integrated tightly into the large iconic trees on the site, this house uses traditional home proportions to blend with the neighborhood. The horizontal lines of the design tie the home to the land, while the roof and balcony reach into the trees making them integral to the home.
The design concepts emphasize the entertaining lifestyle of the owner / architect, with open plans that integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. The first level uses a central core (wooden box) as the main organizing element around which public spaces flow. This LEED Gold designed home features many sustainable strategies, from photovoltaic solar panels and recycled materials to native plants that are drought tolerant, every detail of sustainability is considered.
The couple, who entertain frequently and have welcomed nearly 3,000 guests since they moved into the University Park house last January, made sure that the residence works for gatherings both large and intimate. With its open concept, expansive rooms and walls of glass that slide open to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces, the first floor is a hostess’ dream.
What really wows guests, Reisenbichler says, is when they flip up the wood panel on the living room wall to create a serving bar from the wine room off the kitchen. Opposite the bar is another showstopper: an 8-foot-long gas fireplace that is positioned halfway up a stone wall. “It appeals to so many people, even if they’re not a modernist,” Reisenbichler says.
The spare design and hard lines of the architecture are softened by visual textures, richly colored rugs and warm wood walls, including teak that was salvaged from a monastery in Thailand.
“Most of the home’s finishes are pretty neutral,” Reisenbichler says. “It’s the art and furnishings that bring life to the space.” The art, including oversize sculptural pieces, canvases and African jewelry, is a collection of memories from the family’s travels juxtaposed with works from North Texas artists.
The six-bedroom, 10-bath house, includes mother-in-law quarters on the second floor. Rooms are full of sleek leather furniture, chrome accents, animal hides and graphic prints.
Photos: Bret Janak
The Hollywood Hybrid home has been designed by Marmol Radziner, located in the Hollywood Hills above Runyon Canyon, California. Set into a sharply down-sloping site, the home required substantial foundation work, including the construction of a large retaining wall. The resulting home combines prefab with site built construction. The ground floor is comprised of two large rooms built into the foundation while the two stories above are entirely prefab.
A long pool runs parallel to the house, overlooking Runyon Canyon. Two levels of decks and large sliding glass doors make the views accessible from every level of the home. The residence is targeted for LEED gold certification.
Responsible materials are used throughout, from the insulated glass to the denim jean insulation. Solar panels generate electricity and can feed excess power back into the grid. Decks, large sliding glass doors, and well-placed shading devices allow for cooling cross ventilation and seamless indoor-outdoor living.
Photos: Courtesy of Marmol Radziner