HOUSE N°4, currently under construction with anticipated completion in early 2017, is located in rural Berkshire County, MA. Based on minimization of construction waste, and maximization of building performance, this design achieves a high level of performance and comfort utilizing readily available construction techniques with prefabricated components. The envelope design is based on an overall thermal performance of r=45 (walls), r=60 (roof) and r=30 (under the slab), with triple glazed windows in the thermal performance range of u=.15. Natural ventilation is promoted through the incorporation of inward venting operable windows (tilt and turn) and the interior conditioned space is exchanged with a heat recovery ventilator to recycle heat. The entire lining space of the main house is designed to be heated or cooled on less that 30,000 Btu. Additionally the house excludes the use of fossil fuels and is designed to ‘Net Zero Ready’ standards with the future expansion of a small solar installation.
The site strategy, internal and exterior spatial organization is an articulation and expression of the essentialist nature of the design approach, a conflation of the building system approach and the interior organizational goal of semi-defined programatic regions being partial partitioned by dense-pack volumes of domestic function (storage, bath, utility zones).