Swoon

This Earth-inspired project by Tres Birds Workshop is a 7,000 sf private artist’s residency that uses 100% renewable resources, demonstrating fossil-free potential of the built environment. Four vertical geothermal wells were installed to transfer the Earth’s energy to the building’s heating and cooling system. A solar electric roof on the carport generates energy for interior LED lighting and electricity. To test the energy efficiency of the structure, a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) was performed, ranking it in the 74th percentile and exceeding code requirements by three times.

The structure was built using 200 tons of rammed Earth, a composite of regional dirt and pigments, compressed into 30” thick walls. This adds significant thermal mass to the building’s whole, optimal for temperature regulation. Bearing the structural load, these dense walls allow the space to exist free from obstructions, ideal for a simplified interior and exhibiting artwork.

More information at tresbirds.com/SWOON

Earth USA 2013

Earth USA 2013 is the Seventh International Conference on Architecture and Construction with Earthen Materials initiated by Earth USA. The conference organizer is Adobe in Action.

The formal conference will take place on October 4 and 5, 2013 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. October 6th will be dedicated to local earthbuilding tours and excursions. The conference is being held at the New Mexico Museum of Art in the St. Francis Auditorium (107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501). Earth USA 2013 indicates a wider field of interest than previous conferences and will include adobe, rammed earth, compressed earth block (CEB) and monolithic adobe (cob). Any material or method that uses clay as a binder is considered.

Earth USA 2013 is now accepting abstract submissions (due April 14, 2013) for conference presentations. For more information visit http://earthusa.org/

Glendale Childcare Center

Located in Glendale, California, the 23,000 square-foot childcare facility, designed by Marmol Radziner, accommodates 236 children between infant and Pre-K ages. The complex is the first LEED Gold Certified building in Glendale, and is the largest rammed earth building in Southern California. The sustainable strategies incorporated into the building, including photovoltaic panel canopies and structural rammed earth walls, are key visual and tactile elements in the design, emphasizing the facility as both a learning environment and an educational tool.

House No. 6

The Drachman Design Build Coalition, a non-profit organization at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture + Landscape Architecture led by professor and Associate Dean, Mary Hardin, received grants from both the City of Tucson and Pima County in 2007 to fund the study, design and construction of affordable, sustainable homes for low-income families in south Tucson’s Barrio San Antonio. More at Archinect…

Lacey Residence

The Lacey Residence, by Jones Studio, is a 4,000 sq ft private residence located in Paradise Valley, AZ.

The site slopes in three directions; it is a desert knoll. Linear forms, assuming they are long enough, will inherently emphasize the shape of the landscape by contrasting a level parapet with the sloping topography.

Fortunately the program included a lap pool. This linear permission slip completed the third topographic axis, and finds directional purpose in its alignment with the 6 million year old Papago Peak three miles away; and the centerline of the main entry door!

According to the architects, there is a beautiful honesty in relinquishing architecture to the uncompromising reality of nature. If the intentions are sincere the architecture will only get better.

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel

Saint Bartholomew’s Chapel, by Kevin deFreitas Architects, is located in the picturesque back country of northern San Diego County at the base of Mt. Palomar alongside the San Luis Rey River. A very small and intimate historic chapel was destroyed by wild fires that ravaged the reservation in late 2007 and only the original adobe bell tower survived, which became the anchor element in the redesign planning of the new church. The needs of the current congregation and community had changed quite a bit in the past 100 years. Though the fire destroyed a building that hosted many, many important events and celebrations, it also presented a “blank slate” opportunity to update the facility, primarily by doubling the seating capacity.

[ More at ArchDaily.com ]

Juana Briones House Demolished

The Juana Briones House, a rare example of encajonado construction, parts of which were built in 1844, has been completely torn down by property owner Jaim Nulman, who fought off historic preservationists, latino activists, and descendants of Briones for years. Feminists joined in the struggle for the home’s preservation as well. Jeanne McDonnell, biographer of Juana Briones, stated that historic buildings associated with women are more likely to be demolished than those associated with men.

Windcatcher House

The Begay home is Design Build Bluff’s first project since opening the door to more universities. The students of architecture of the University of Colorado Denver designed a home that responds to a sustainable ethos by using local clay and soils for rammed earth walls and compressed brick for a wind catching chimney which cools the temperature inside during the high summer temperatures. The Windcatcher House, which is totally off-grid and harvests all its water, features an innovative wind tower designed to capture the wind to cool the house.

The Windcatcher House includes local clay for its hand-built compressed brick, as well as the south- and east-facing wall facades. Thermal mass cools the home during the hot, dry summers, and soaks up heat during the very frigid winters. Rainwater is collected from the adjacent carport’s roof and gets reused for the garden.

As with all Navajo Nation homes, this house is nowhere near a power grid, which makes relying on the surrounding earth even more useful and important. The Begays don’t have a car, so they plan to use the carport for an animal barn.

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