This week Reggie’s Home has been focusing on what systems we could use to make the Alabama climate feel more thermally comfortable. Reggie does not want A/C in his new home which means our design has to focus on heating and cooling using passive methods. While considering what passive strategies to use it has been important for us to keep in mind that although the summer can get very hot, Alabama is actually a heating climate. This means that there are more days in which spaces would need to be heated rather than cooled. So far we have been researching cooling with simple methods like cross ventilation, the use of a fan, and using a dehumidifier. In terms of heating we’ve been looking at how we could use earth tubes and a wood stove.
Earth tubes are tubes that run underground and precondition the temperature of incoming air before it enters the building. In the winter, the ground is warmer than the air, meaning that the air is warmed as it passes through the tubes. In certain climates it is believed that earth tubes can change the temperature of the air up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. While doing this research one big question always comes up; how do we know it’ll work in our climate? Lucky for us we have been able to gather data from Earth tubes used in our own backyard!
In 2016, a combination of earth tubes and a solar chimney was used as a passive system for the storehouse on Rural Studio’s Morrisette Campus. The exchange was optimized to create a temperature difference of 15 degrees Fahrenheit between the exterior and interior. In order to test if it’s working the way it was designed we placed temperature sensors outside the storehouse and within the tube in the interior of the storehouse. Through the months of December to February we can see that on average the highest temperature change is 6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now the question becomes, how much of a difference is 6 degrees Fahrenheit when it is 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside? This leads us to research different methods that could work instead of or in addition to earth tubes. To help with heating we have been exploring the option of a wood stove which would work as a constant space heater within the home. If placed correctly, a wood stove would be more than enough to heat the entire home.
This coming week we will continue to move our design forward and use the research of these systems to determine how we can optimize the performance of the home. In the mean time enjoy these pictures of the team incase you forgot what we looked like!
Hello from Reggie’s Home team! These past few weeks we have been busy continuing our site analysis while beginning some design iterations. With the help of reviewers: Andrew Berman, Julie Eizenberg, and Hank Koning we have been pushing forward with our design!
After Reggie-fying our case studies we landed upon two schemes, a bar and divided volumes. Each scheme aimed to build the minimal space needed to live in order to be able to maximize the space outside of the home. We also looked at blurring the line between the boundaries of the home. After talking to Andrew Berman, we realized that the bar scheme made the most sense because we would be building less than the divided volumes scheme. The bar scheme would also allow the complexity of the home to come from the way Reggie lives in it and not the architecture. Once we established we would move forward with the bar scheme we sat down and determined exactly what the bar needed to accomplish for Reggie to live the way he wants.
After we created guidelines for what the bar scheme needed to accomplish, we had a couple design charrettes and presented them to Julie Eizenberg and Hank Koning.
The conversation with Julie and Hank allowed us to understand that the building is only one part of our design. We also have to consider how the home will interact with the site. In a way, the SITE is the HOME.
In addition to working in studio on our design charrettes, we have also finished clearing out our site and have begun to conduct a site survey.
Thats all we have for now! Stay tuned for Soup Roast festivities.
In order to start thinking about each of the product line homes on Ophelia’s site, the 3rd-year studio has done hundreds (!) of drawings. They started with a charrette exercise to quickly sketch their ideas on paper and compile an initial understanding of the 20K Project, constraints, and opportunities.
Then, they split up into teams of 4 or 5 and each team was assigned a different product line house. Their assignment was to test the houses’ compatibility with the site and the “fit and feel” of the interior relative to their clients needs.
The main challenge of this year’s house was figuring out how to accommodate a guest that might stay for an extended period. The group used many different types of drawings to help them better understand the opportunities for growth within the house, specifically different plans options of each house along with vignettes showing different ways the client might use the space if not for an extra bed. They also worked out how the foundation will be built and function in each product line home by using sectional drawings.
In addition to the more technical drawings, the 3rd-years also sketched diagrams and perspectives, crafted a site model with the three standard product line homes, and made porch detail models for their specific proposals.
They repeated this process of drawing and presenting until the Studio and instructors felt they could comfortably and unanimously eliminate one of the proposals from the running because it would not be right for their client.
Through this process, the 3rd-years have since eliminated one home and will continue to explore and develop their ideas for the other two product line homes and how they will best work for their project. Stay tuned to see what product line home this studio will build for Ophelia!
Oh yeah, and every Wednesday is “haiku Wednesday” …