The Cluny House is a cozy and luxurious yet sustainable family home that has been designed by Guz Architects, situated in Singapore. The residence demonstrates how technology, planning and design can be applied sensitively to generate a comfortable, luxurious, yet sustainable family home.
Photovoltaic cells and solar water heaters are employed together with design for passive cooling and cross ventilation to reduce energy usage. Irrigation tanks and roof gardens collect and recycle rainwater; and the use of materials such as recycled teak and artificial timber adds warmth without compromising the finite resources of our environment.
The house is laid out around a central water court that forms the focal point of the project. Lushly planted roof gardens surround this and add to the effect that nature is evident in every part of the house.
Although the house is high tech – using state of the art EIB systems, photovoltaic cells, security systems – these are integrated discreetly and work with the natural environment of the house rather than against it.
This integration of technology and nature deserves special mention in a compelling design that could realistically become the model for sustainable living.
Photos: Patrick Bingham Hall
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
The Sunshine Canyon Residence has been designed by THA Architecture, nestled at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder, Colorado. Completed in 2013, this home was a replacement to a home that the owners had lost the Fourmile Canyon fire of Labor Day weekend in 2010. They sold their property and purchased a larger parcel of eight acres for $150,000 on a higher perch, seven miles above downtown. The new structure was more modest in size to their previous home, coming in at 2,200 square feet and costing $1.2 million to build. The dwelling is set on tall steel columns and encased in corrugated, fire-resistant steel siding that is quickly taking on the patina of an old mining shack. “With passive house features, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and a solar array out back, the house is practically net zero in terms of energy consumption”, states THA Architecture.
The panoramic views are ever-changing and offer their own form of entertainment. Where others may have cleared away the expanse of burned trees, the couple saw beauty and left them standing.
Cliffside Drive Residence is a family home designed by Natasha Barrault Design, offering an easy-living vibe and a strong connection to the outdoors in Point Dume, Malibu, California. This partial remodel, interior and exterior design is a joint project collaboration with architect-designer Hervé Daridan. The property 7,500 square foot (including guesthouse) belongs to a couple in the fitness industry and their 4-year-old son who had two main interests throughout the project: To get the property off the grid and do the entire project as sustainably as possible, and to create a truly comfortable home in which warmth and a peaceful atmosphere mattered most and the result would not be “overdecorated”.
From the designer: We achieved this in part by designing a lot of built in cabinetry which helped define spaces clearly whilst “melting” into the fabric of the house and contributing to the airy feel of the rooms. We choose organic materials in a definite but soft color palette and textiles are an important element throughout. We also assembled a selection of Art and objects for the house and collaborated on the exterior with Armfield Design & Construction.
Barrault strove for an easy-living, laid-back spirit in the furnishings. Slipcovered sofas and throw pillows in neutral hues, along with the option of floor seating, give the living room an informal feel.
One way that Daridan (the architect) let more light in was to replace all the railings on the decks and balconies with less obscuring materials. Today the living room feels bright because light easily enters the home.
The taupe tones in the Farrow & Ball wallpaper are brought out by the concrete countertop and sink in the guest bath. The combination of colors and the lotus pattern of the wall treatment enliven the entire space.
The multidirectional sofa allows the family to use and orient it according to their needs.
The living room is designed to shape shift into a language arts room for the clients’ home school. “We added specially designed furniture and elegantly protected the Paola Lenti ottomans and other pieces. When school is in session, the clients cover the Hans Wegner coffee table so that it can withstand the wear and tear of the school day,” states the designer.
Bolsters and cushions can be moved around for play or for guest seating, or even cleared to transform the sofa into a daybed.
The credenza was custom designed for the family; it houses books, toys and recycled plastic storage tubs by Plastica.
Instead of a gallery wall of framed photos, the clients opted for a magnetic wall that showcases artwork, family photos and love notes. “The wall is constantly evolving and keeps the space from feeling static,” states the designer.
Animal-shaped, whimsical throw pillows are scattered on the bed. Storage space and ample drawers give toys and other articles a place of their own.
The boy’s room has a table and Knoll chair for endless hours of reading, drawing and daydreaming. Balcony doors connect the space to the outside.
This bath was designed both for safety and fun. The tub floor is covered with an anti-slip mat; the shower can be filled as a shallow bath or used as a wading pool while an adult sits on the ledge to supervise.
Photos: Courtesy of Natasha Barrault Design
Brunswick House is a single family property that has been designed by Christopher Botterill, located in Brunswick, an inner northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The 990 square foot (92 square meters) home is positioned amongst an eclectic mix of residential and industrial building typologies. Purchased as a derelict shell, the building has been recycled using modern spatial arrangements, materials and a strong focus on sustainability.
At the front of the house the two main bedrooms have been retained with a shared robe dividing the rooms. Bathroom and Kitchens areas have been centralised allowing the Living spaces to open out to the garden space and roof deck above. Above the Bathroom is a study/bedroom that is open to the living areas and provides access to a storage space in the roof. The decommissioned fireplace has been retained to support the open roof structure and provide space for the concealed pantry and wine cellar.
When the double doors at the rear of the house are open, the green carpet in the living room visually connects with the soft lush lawn diminishing the definition of inside and out. The layered palette of materials and forms, particularly the black timber box elements, creates a sense of journey and individuality.
A rain water tank is located under the external stairs and is used for irrigation of the organic vegetable garden at the front. Where possible all new materials have been locally sourced and finished by hand during construction. All windows of the existing house have been reconditioned with traditional sash cords and high performance glazing.
Surrounding the house are circular concrete stepping stone pavers set into soft grasses creating a dynamic landscape environment. At points of entry to the house the pavers are densely populated providing a playful representation of bubbles emerging from the house.
Photos: Christopher Alexander
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