Malta Home Maximizes a Small Lot With Cantilevered Design

malta 1

malta 5

Located on the tiny island of Malta, this sustainable home by Chris Briffa Architects was designed on a lot only 250 square meters in size. The green-roofed, energy-efficient Hanging Home has turned into a significant design challenge, incorporating the small space with eco-friendly features into this modern yet traditional home.

malta 3

malta 2

In order to bypass the zoning challenges of the small lot, nearly half of the house is cantilevered over the outdoor space, with portions of the living and dining rooms literally floating over the outdoor pool on a slab of concrete.

malta 4

The home uses low-energy radiant floor heating to stay warm in the winter, and stays cool in the summer through natural ventilation. The design allows for plenty of natural daylight and cross ventilation, keeping energy use at a minimum. Overall, the natural materials and strategic design provide a sustainable, energy-efficient home that is simple, stylish, and comfortable.

New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

The media relations group for Oak Ridge National Laboratory just released more information about recent field tests by ORNL of a new roof and attic system that keeps homes cool in the summer and prevents heat loss in the winter.  The system is explained in the graphic embedded above (click to expand).  In addition, I’ve included some graphics below to illustrate more of what the system looks like and how it saves energy.

The system employs a passive ventilation strategy that is expected to cost about $2,000 for a retrofit situation with savings of roughly $100 per year, yielding a payback of about 20 years.

Foil covered polystyrene insulation (with the ventilation gap) is installed over and between rafters for new construction or on top of an existing shingle system in a retrofit.  With the new roof assembly, air moves from the underbelly of the attic into an inclined air space above the roof, according to an ORNL statement, so that “heat that would have gone into the house is carried up and out,” said Bill Miller of ORNL’s Building Envelope Group.

In the summer, the temperature of the attic is reduced as a result of the roof detailing and, according to observations by ORNL, the thermal load of the home is thereby reduced. Further, ORNL found improved efficiencies even if the attic floor is insufficiently insulated.

The research and findings are discussed in more detail in a paper, “Prototype Roof Deck Designed to Self-Regulate Deck Temperature and Reduce Heat Transfer,” published by the National Roofing Contractors Association.  A PowerPoint of the background research can be found here [PDF].

[+] More about this roof-attic system tested by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Related Articles on

  1. Glass Tile Roof Solar by SolTech Energy
  2. CertainTeed Intros New Apollo Solar Roof
  3. How to Insulate an Uninsulated House

Original post: New Roof-Attic Design Improves Efficiency

bpENNOVATIONS Donates Aerix Roof Ventilation Products To Bennington, Vermont Area Habitat For Humanity

Rutland, VT (Vocus) July 7, 2010

bpENNOVATIONS, an innovator of new pioneering products which address new design concepts as well as past construction challenges, is pleased to announce its recent donation of its Aerix™ Roof Ventilation System to the Bennington Area Habitat for Humanity’s Bennington, Vermont project. The project is currently under construction.

Richard Malley, President of the Bennington Area Habitat for Humanity Affiliate, announced in April of this year that the affiliate’s next home will be built on Silver Street in Bennington. This home, including the price of the land, will cost close to $ 150,000. Skilled and unskilled volunteers help make the home affordable by contributing their time to eliminate almost all labor costs. The affiliate will continue to seek funds throughout the summer from individuals and area businesses to cover expenses.

Kirk Moore, CEO of bpEnnovations, said that his company was glad to be contributing the Aerix Roof Ventilation System to the Silver Street project. “We greatly value the role that Habitat for Humanity plays in our communities and are happy to help make this home more energy efficient and affordable for the long-term.”

Malley said, “I am most grateful to bpEnnovations for donating the Aerix Roof Ventilation System. Our goal is to build homes that will be affordable and easy for our homeowners to maintain for many years. We are excited to have the opportunity to try the Aerix Roof Ventilation system and hope our experience with the system will help other area homeowners to make good decisions about materials to use in their homes.”

Installer, Jason Hanna added, “Aerix made a usually dreaded chore of installing blocks and baffles into a quick and simple process. Just drop in the panels and staple. Done.”

Aerix is a roof ventilation system that provides a cost-effective solution to a very common construction problem related to roof insulation and ventilation. Developed by Kirk T. Moore, AIA, LEED AP, Principal Architect of BMA Architects & Planners, Aerix is ideal for all sloped roofs and for all insulation types that provides an insulation baffle and a vented channel that protects the insulation and greatly reduces ice dams, creates proper airflow and ventilation, reduces energy costs and is simple to install.

bpENNOVATIONS is a Rutland, Vermont-based company with offices in Rutland and Bennington Vermont. AERIX is exclusively distributed by industry leader Parksite, servicing the building industry as a wholesale distributor offering a wide range of exterior and interior building materials.

For more information, call 1-877.475.9360 or visit

Anyone interested in becoming involved in any aspect of Habitat’s work, behind the scenes or building on site, should send an email to bennhabitat(at)yahoo(dot)com or check to learn about the local affiliate. Choosing to be involved with Habitat’s work in our area is an example of thinking “globally and acting locally.”

# # #

Find More Affordable Roofing Press Releases