GREEN EGGS AND PLAN (With Apologies to Dr. Seuss)
Building a home that’s certified by LEED (the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system) — is a complex process, so a house plan that already takes LEED standards into account gives you a big head start on the road to green. Enter developer Alexander Maurer, founder of Marken Projects in Vancouver, BC, and architect Silvia Steurer and their new Marken LEED Demonstration Home. It’s the latest addition to our Only at Houseplans.com Studio Collection. Note the photovoltaic panels on the lower roof:
The sleek contemporary home is designed to maintain a comfortable temperature in winter and summer without active heating and cooling, which means it uses much less energy than a conventional structure.
In this elevation showing the carport side, you can see the sod roof over the main part of the house. The latter is designed for six inches of soil — appropriate for native grasses and wildflowers. According to Alex: “The owner decides how much green roof he or she needs and wants.” Built compactly using Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) with larch 2-by-2 slat siding, the design includes many other green features including a heat recovery ventilating system (which Alex calls the heart of the design), high-efficiency filter for healthy air, triple pane windows, solar thermal water heating, rainwater collection, and greywater recycling.
The open plan includes a generous covered outdoor living area near the kitchen and a porch running the length of the house. Sliding doors open living room, dining area, and kitchen to the porch so the house can expand easily in good weather. The design draws inspiration from work by contemporary Austrian architect Matthias Schindegger of Maschin Arhitektur, like his Ettel Haus below,
with its simple rectilinear shape, long balcony, covered breezeway, and horizontal slat siding and rail. Here’s another view along the balcony (photos by Peter Jakadofsky).
The Austrian connection is no accident: both Alex and Silvia came to Vancouver from the Innsbruck region and are working with Matthias on various projects.
In other green-oriented news, I encourage you to attend Sunset Magazine’s Celebration Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 6 and 7. The event — held at the company’s extraordinary Cliff May (building) and Thomas Church (garden) designed campus — brings the pages of the magazine to life with gardening, cooking, and design demonstrations. I got a preview of the novel Sunset Idea Cottage made from two of Modern Cabana‘s prefabricated units. All the wood is FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council). Here’s a shot of it with Modern Cabana co-owner Nick Damner on the ladder making some final adjustments.
Two Modern Cabana structures — a 12 by 25-foot kitchen/living unit and a 10 by 16-foot sleeping unit — are joined by a deck designed by Sunset building guru Peter Whiteley. The cottage is a variation on the “Getaway That Grows” mentioned in the last posting.
It’s cool, contemporary, and crisp, even in this premature view! The furniture is by CB2.
Take-away ideas include what I would call “wall planter trays” from Flora Grubb Gardens, shown below,
(note the wire hangers at the top) and a shade-and-outdoor lighting-structure made by Peter out of woven willow branches (from The Willow Farm) and light strings, below:
Many thousands of visitors will throng the event so get there early, and be sure to meet Honey and Ophelia, Sunset‘s celebrity chickens who were part of a story called “The One Block Diet” developed by Food Editor Margo True and her team. The story recently won a prestigious James Beard Journalism Award.
Everyone’s clucking about it and some are still wearing their medals.
There, now you see why the title of this posting included eggs. And because I’m just a ham.