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PRESS RELEASE: 3/13/06
Conceptual Home Designs:
Jana K. Vander Goot
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The schematic designs for Design A and B were worked through using standard passive heating/cooling and green building principals. The environment at the Thorntree Commons site in Suttons Bay was also an important guide while working out the particulars of each design. These schematic designs were not created with any one particular lot in mind, therefore it is important to note that each lot has its own microclimate and unique set of conditions that would further inform the design process.
DESCRIPTION OF PLAN/ELEV A
Design A carefully considers the amenities offered by the various cardinal directions.
The northern exterior wall functions as a utility wall and insulates indoor conditioned space from harsh winter winds and low outdoor air temperatures. The larder portion of the utility wall acts as a natural refrigerator for food storage during cool months.
The southern exterior walls encourage passive solar heating and daylighting. A greenhouse sunspace and large sections of insulated glass take full advantage of solar heat gain in the winter. The structural portion of the window system is designed to support horizontal screening and interior quilted insulation shades that can be installed during the winter months. Adjustable shading devices on the southern walls maximize flexibility and accommodate seasonal temperature changes.
Vertical wooden slat screening is part of the architectural language of the eastern and western elevations. The adjustable screening can be used to control sun levels in the morning and evening. The wooden screens also create visual interest as light filters through them into the open riser stair and main living spaces on the first floor.
All exterior walls are thickened to allow extra space for insulation. Covered niches and an air lock at the front entry prevent cold winter air from infiltrating into the conditioned space through exterior doors. The layered gable roofs naturally deflect northern winter winds. Roof overhangs and steep roof pitches shed rain and snow away from the house and prevent premature deterioration of exterior finish materials. Unobstructed cross-ventilation, which would produce a cooling effect throughout the living spaces in the summer months, is easily attained by opening doors and windows on opposite walls.
The ground floor footprint of Design A is approximately 1200 square feet not including outdoor patios or the sunspace. The second floor has enough space for 3 bedrooms, a full bathroom, and a small home office. The garage is bermed into the earth on the lower level and could accommodate two cars. The total conditioned space for this home fits comfortably within 2600 square feet.
DESCRIPTION OF PLAN/ELEV B
Design B incorporates many passive solar heating and cooling technologies into its functional living spaces and exterior surface materials.
The kitchen and breakfast area function as a sunspace and trombe system. The southern wall consists of insulated glass that encourages solar radiant heat gain in the winter. The tile floor and thickened masonry walls of the kitchen encourage the storage and slow release of heat throughout the day.
Cold Food Storage
The cold pantry on the northern side acts as a natural refrigerator for food storage and does not require conditioning for large portions of the year. The location of the pantry on the north side allows it to insulate the kitchen area from the cold northern winds in the winter. The semi-conditioned pantry is a transitional space between the unconditioned outdoors and the conditioned indoors; it is an air lock that prevents unwanted air from infiltrating into conditioned spaces.
The green roof acts as an extra layer of insulation and prevents the premature weathering and deterioration of the roof. The plant material and a thin layer of soil allow the controlled drainage of storm water run off and excess water from melting snow.
During the summer months, the operable kitchen and pantry glazing can be completely opened to the exterior to encourage cooling breezes and cross ventilation throughout the living spaces.
All exterior walls are thickened to allow extra space for insulation. The glazed wing wall at the front entry door prevents harsh winter winds from infiltrating the conditioned space.
The ground floor footprint of Design B is approximately 1470 square feet including the kitchen that functions as a sunspace and the cold pantry that will not require conditioning for most of the year.
The second floor accommodates 2-3 bedrooms and a full bathroom. The garage is bermed into the earth on the lower level and can accommodate two cars. The total conditioned space fits comfortably within 2600 square feet.
Jana K Vander Goot is a licensed Architect in the State of Michigan. Jana recently opened her firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she works with her husband, Michael Ezban, who is completing his final year of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Michigan. Jana grew up in Grand Rapids and attended the University of Notre Dame where she received her Bachelor of Architecture degree and studied art and architecture in Rome, Italy and New Mexico. She has spent a large portion of her professional career in the Washington, DC metro area working primarily on new residential projects and additions. For more information please contact: