Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Hills Residence Bloomfield Township, Michigan By Hue Projects
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
2007 This home was built for a young family of five who wanted to simplify the way they live. Sited in a Detroit neighborhood full of mid-century ranches, the project builds upon the tradition of Modern residential architecture while looking forward to environmental stewardship.
A prefabricated structural system, reclaimed waste stream materials, and a highly efficient building envelope are just some of the green elements that come together to create the unique, high-performance structure.
Embracing eco-friendly building practices led to the selection of materials with unique aesthetic qualities that became vital aspects of the home’s design.
From the road, the low-sloping hipped roof seems in context with its neighbors.
Taking advantage of the existing grades that fall away to the perimeter of the property, the hip roof is not seen as you walk around the home.
Instead you look up to a continuous, rectangular wood surface that ties together the home’s three organizational zones.
These zones (public, family and service) eliminate unneeded space and are distinguished by the materials used to construct them.
The public area is defined by glass partitions set into a post & beam wood frame.
Covered exterior areas become extensions of the public area and open the interior to the site. Surfaces are continuous inside and out at this part of home, reinforcing the feeling of a single space.
Book-ending the central public area are the wood-clad family zone and the stone-clad service zone. The warm colors of the wood create a comfortable family area while the slate creates a sense of permanence and stability.
The home was built using structural insulated panels (SIPs) on a glulam frame, locally-fabricated and assembled on-site. This hugely reduced construction waste and saved months compared to conventional framing. With nearly twice the insulating value of batt insulation, the panels create a very efficient building envelope that virtually eliminates air leakage and the possibility for mold growth.
Rather than quarrying new stone for cladding, the project reclaims a byproduct of the slate roof tile manufacturing process. These sculpings are left over blocks of slate too small to be further split into roof shingles. Here, the scrap material is repurposed as cladding and an interior fireplace.
Normally used as decking because of its maintenance-free durability, ipê is installed here as a uniquely detailed rainscreen to help the building breathe. The wood is sourced from a supplier devoted to sound purchasing policies which reinforce environmentally responsible forestry practices.
All wood stains, paints and sealants are low-VOC, water-based coatings. In many cases the finishes have no volatile organic compounds.
Pigment was added to the concrete floor slab, and the aggregate was carefully selected, so that the floors could be ground, polished and left exposed throughout the home. The concrete thus becomes the finished floor, eliminating the need for additional floor coverings. The large mass further acts as a thermal battery, slowly releasing heat in the winter and keeping the house cool in the summer. Buried within the concrete is a hydronic, radiant heating system driven by a high-efficiency boiler.
The standing-seam metal roof, gutters and downspouts are a zinc alloy. With exposure to the elements, the alloy naturally forms a protective coating of zinc carbonate, making the roof maintenance-free for generations. Compared to other metals, the energy consumption for zinc extraction and processing is extremely low. Emissions during smelting are at an environmental standards minimum. And, the high value of scrap zinc provide economic reasons for recycling, resulting in a recycling rate of 90%.
HUE Projects also acted as construction manager, working on-site throughout the construction of the home and, in some cases, building specific parts of the house. During construction, a shop was setup in the basement to pre-cut and pre-drill each piece of ipê before it was finished by the painter......more