Green Design with Breathtaking Views

Leicester House Marvin Windows - exterior

This is the last installment in our series called Energy-Efficient Windows 101 made possible by Marvin Windows and Doors.  Last time I discussed how Marvin windows contribute towards LEED certification, and today want to wrap it up with this showcase of an award-winning home in Leicester, North Carolina.  Designed by Eric Gartner of New York-based SPG Architects, the energy-efficient home has a custom configuration of Marvin windows providing expansive southern and western views.

Leicester House Marvin Windows - interior

It’s hard to explain how digging the water well in 2008 influenced what ultimately was built, but that’s what happened, according to Gartner, SPG Architects.  Due to drought conditions, the well had to be dug much deeper than expected, and the housing economy basically crashed at about the same time.  When these two things happened, the owner reassessed plans and worked with Gartner on a more environmentally friendly home while still keeping a tight construction budget.

The result is a 3,000 square-foot abode with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, split between two levels.  The upper level has the living and master suite, while the lower level has the guest wing and can be zoned off when not in use to save energy.

A key feature of the Leicester home is an engineered window wall overlooking a green roof with sunset views of the west and also toward the south.  This was accomplished with the custom configuration of Marvin windows and doors explained below.

Leicester House Marvin Windows - windows

Contemporary and Green

Leicester collects about 80% of the water that falls on the house and diverts it to two tanks that hold a total of 3,400 gallons.  The non-potable resource is used for landscape irrigation and in the water-conserving toilets.  Also, the green roof reduces water runoff and the heat-island effect and insulates the guest wing below.

As for the construction, Leicester has a basic insulation package with R19 fiberglass in the walls, an insulated foam in the basement, and an R38+ roof with a combination of R19 fiberglass and closed-cell urethane foam.  The HVAC system has three zones – again, these can be shut down when an area of the house isn’t being used – powered by a geothermal system with a field of horizontal loops.

To conserve energy, the owner installed Energy Star appliances, Energy Star Marvin windows, and low-consumption lighting, and Gartner’s design includes massive overhangs for summer shade and winter warmth.  These windows facilitate stunning views and also provide for cross-ventilation.

Leicester House Cross Ventilation

About the Windows

The window package from Marvin works overtime to minimize unwanted heat gain from the west.  Gartner said the UV rating is really high, and, specifically, the windows have low-E2 glass filled with argon.

Marvin’s team was able to sync with the design team to deliver a mostly continuous view using steel bars engineered for structural support, connections, and an arrangement of the Ultimate Swinging French Door, Ultimate Casement Window, and Ultimate Awning Window.  And Gartner was honored as one of Marvin’s 2012 Architect’s Challenge winners.

If you’ve ever thought about having stunning views like this from your home, find a Marvin dealer near you to bring your vision to life.

Leicester House Marvin Windows - architecture

Courtesy: SPG Architects; credits: Daniel Levin Photography.

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Rieteiland House Offers Energy Efficiency and Beautiful Panoramic Sunset Views

contemporist 1_550x393

The Rieteiland House in Amsterdam, The Netherlands is a breathtaking piece of architecture created by Hans van Heeswijk Architects.

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Designed on a newly established island’s plot of land, the box-like design features three floors and a basement with panoramic views of the beautiful surrounding landscape. The street-facing facade is clad in aluminum siding with sections that open up to display windows, and the water-facing side is made completely of glass and sliding doors. Each level has a panoramic view toward the west, the water, and the park, offering sunset views from every level.

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Special attention has been given to the sustainability features of this home, including some of the furniture, which was custom-made to accommodate the design. Thermal energy storage, a cold and heat pump, and solar collectors are all used to maximize energy efficiency and cut down on the home’s footprint.

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Source and images via Contemporist.com

Read more here: Rieteiland House Offers Energy Efficiency and Beautiful Panoramic Sunset Views

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Elegant Grass Lamp Provides Light for Home and Hydroponic Vegetation

InterModal Design Ships Prefab Homes Worldwide

Shipping Container Modular Home External outdoors

Shipping Container Modular Home External outdoors

A subsidiary of Hive Modular, InterModal Design, manufactures durable, prefabricated homes from recycled shipping containers that can be shipped almost anywhere in the world. Shipping container shelters from InterModal Design (IMD) can be used for off-the grid living as primary residence, guest house, or office space. Dwellings can be built out with essential comforts such as kitchen space, a living room that can be transformed into a sleeping area, and bathroom facilities.

With a 3-in-1 structure, the IMD home maximizes the space of the container, creating a single structure with multiple functions. Chairs can be stored flat and a bed and table are installed in a drop-down fashion to be stowed away when not in use.

Shipping Container Modular Home double story

Shipping Container Modular Home double story

Several units are available, with pricing and details in spreadsheets on the IMD website, starting at US$35,000. Upgrades can be requested and custom projects are billed at $100 per hour. You cover costs of site preparation, delivery, and setup, with many areas requiring building permits for additional costs.

While you must assume responsibility for compliance with your local jurisdiction code ordinances for container usage, InterModal Design is available to assist with modifications to containers and designs to bring it to code.

Shipping Container Modular Home Design

Shipping Container Modular Home Design

Each standard plan includes basic furnishings, plumbing and electrical, but check the spec sheets for details on specific finishes to determine your need for upgrades. As your container home is being built, you can prepare your site, set the foundation, and hookup any necessary utilities. Delivery may require a crane and set crew. IMD will assist you in determining the best solutions for foundations and installation.

All products from IMD come with a 1-year warranty, honoring any state-required home warranties in the United States beyond that period of time.

Shipping Container Modular Home internal diagram

Shipping Container Modular Home internal diagram

Shipping Container 2 story home

Shipping Container 2 story home

Shipping Container Modular Home External outdoors

Shipping Container Modular Home External outdoors

Prefab Norris House in Tennessee is a Living Lab for Energy and Water Use

New Norris House

Since 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority community of Norris, Tennessee has showcased a variety of prefabricated houses with modern amenities such as electricity, heat, and indoor plumbing that were quite rare in Appalachia.

Today, the same community hosts the New Norris House, which showcases the principles of affordable sustainable living. The 1,006-square-foot prefab cottage is proudly exceeding LEED-Platinum standards by 30%, utilizing sunlight and rainwater to focus on self-reliance and conservation. The house uses 50% less energy than other homes in the area and requires no fossil fuels to run.

New Norris House

The demonstration home was created by a team of University of Tennessee-Knoxville College of Architecture + Design students and faculty members, who used passive solar design and ventilation to maintain comfortable temperatures during all seasons. Natural daylight was an important consideration for the design, and a retractable awning on the southern side controls the amount of heat distributed throughout the home in summer and winter. A solar hot water panel and tankless electric water heater work together to maintain water temperatures, and about 85% of roof runoff is used for toilet flushing, laundry, and irrigation.

Shoal Bay House Offers a Minimalist Retreat Along Hawkes Bay

This gorgeous, minimalist Shoal Bay House by Parsonson Architects is a modestly designed, attractive home that is the perfect spot to enjoy a weekend retreat with family or friends. It is located on the east coast of southern Hawkes Bay, a great place to enjoy the beaches of New Zealand.

It is made of two interconnected gabled structures, one for bedrooms and another for living space. The house is lifted off the ground, which maximizes interior space by providing extra room to store kayaks, bikes, and beach equipment. The home is constructed of responsibly-sourced wood, uses a wood-burning stove to stay warm, and heats the water through solar power.

Shoal Bay House

Decks are located at each end of the living space, providing the perfect spot to view both the sunrise and sunset.

This sustainable getaway house was one of HOME Magazine’s Home of the Year Finalists in 2009, and won a NZIA Local Award in 2010. For more photos and details, please visit p-a-co.nz.

Shoal Bay House interior

Shoal Bay House Exterior

Parsonson Architects

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View original post here: Shoal Bay House Offers a Minimalist Retreat Along Hawkes Bay

Milan’s Bosco Verticale On Track to Become World’s First Vertical Forest

Bosco Verticale Forest

Milan, Italy is one of Europe’s most polluted cities, its air quality frequently breaching safety limits set by the EU and causing city officials to install a ventilation system in 2009 in an effort to reduce damage to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper that resides in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. In 2003, a medical study compared breathing air in Milan to smoking almost a pack of cigarettes each day. On top of that, there is less space dedicated to vegetation in Milan than any other Italian city.

Short on space for increasing the presence of greenery, the city turned to architect Stefano Boeri to create the world’s first vertical forests, incorporated into the “Bosco Verticale” apartment towers, currently under construction and nearing completion.

Bosco Verticale Build

The two residential towers, which are part of a rehabilitation project in the historic district between Via De Island Castillia and Confalonieri, loom 111 meters and 78 meters and will be home to over 900 trees that cover nearly 9,000 square meters of terrace space. They are 24 floors and 17 floors high with combined capacity for 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 plants.

In addition to producing oxygen, mitigating smog, and providing an ecosystem for insects and birds, the trees and plants on the terraces will help to cool the apartments and reduce the energy costs for air-conditioning, especially when summers in Milan can get hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vertical forest idea has inspired a social housing tower in Spain, called the Torre Huerta, and a “Flower Tower” in Paris that features nearly 400 bamboo plants on its ledges.

Bosco Verticale External

Bosco Verticale Forest Build

Bosco Verticale Build -1

Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Whether your home is in need of a small studio space, office, or extra guest bedroom, Austin, Texas-based Kanga Room Systems is the perfect portable option. The modern, eco-friendly buildings are designed with portability in mind, and are custom-made to fit your existing home with bathroom, kitchenette, and multiple room options.

Prices for a Kanga Room System range from $7,150 to $15,500, with size options between 8’x10’ and 14’x24’. Each one comes with a treated skids foundation, EPDM roof membrane, galvanized fascia flashing, cedar accent siding, a metal door with full lite glass, and several other unique features made of quality materials.

The system is shipped right to your home from Texas as a kit, where you or a contractor can assemble it. Kanga uses eco-conscious, sustainable, and energy-efficient materials whenever possible, and they are always customizable for specific aesthetic or environmental needs.

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Read the original post: Kanga Room Systems Make the Perfect Office, Guest Room, or Studio Space

Japanese Home Offers a Minimalist Design With Natural, Earthen Floors

Electronically Tintable Dynamic SageGlass Unveiled at BAU by Saint-Gobain

Sage Glass transition stage 1

SAGE Electrochromics, which was recently acquired to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, is demonstrating its newly developed advanced dynamic glass that it calls “SageGlass” at the 2013 BAU, the “World’s Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials, Systems” in Munich.

SageGlass is electronically tintable to allow for modulation of light, glare, and solar heat gain. With the push of a button, or by of building automation systems or the proprietary SageClass control system, the glass can alter the solar heat gain and visible light transmission. Providing for efficient and flexible control of exterior light, SageGlass replaces blinds and motorized window shades that block light coming through windows, curtain walls, and skylights.

Sage Glass stage 2

Using a patented technology, the glazing level of SageGlass tint is dynamically controllable from 2% to 62% of light transmittance while maintaining transparency so that outdoor views are unobstructed to maximize energy efficiency while improving the comfort  and productivity of building occupants and increasing the value of the building.

Sage Glass Stage 3

According to a recent press release, SageGlass tint achieves this by managing “solar heat with a g value varying from 0.42 in its clearest state to 0.05 in the darkest state (values for a DGU with a Ug value of 1.1 W/m2.k).” The SageGlass dedicated automatic control system enables the tint to automatically adapt to outdoor luminance.

“BAU will be a terrific opportunity to showcase SageGlass’s impact on daylight and sun heat for the first time to the German market,” said SAGE SAINT-GOBAIN Europe, Director of Marketing and Sales, Kirk Ratzel.

Sage glass tint triple pane glass