Green Home Design

In Architecture, Green Home Design, LEED, Sustainable on July 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm

This post kicks off a series of posts centered around the design of a theoretical green/sustainable home in Chicago.  The house will have enough room for a typical family with 3 beds and 2 baths and 1,200 to 1,4000 square feet.  My intent in posting these sketches is to chronicle the design process and to hopefully gain feedback from all of you.  I have high hopes of eventually modeling the entire home in Revit, but we’re a long way from the 3D computer modeling stage!

I have yet to settle on which sustainable design standard – LEED, Living Building Challenge, Passive House, etc – that I am going to follow.  In reality, it will probably end up being a mix of all three systems rather than a strict adherence to one over the other.  In my opinion, LEED is a great sustainability checklist, but does little to inspire great designs.  The Living Building Challenge (essentially LEED on steroids) has much stricter standards than LEED, though some aspects seem impractical or cost-prohibitive.  I’ve been reading more about how Passive House is gaining ground in the US, but I am admittedly uneducated on the specifics of the system (but I did just order a book about it, so stay tuned!).

The house will be designed with the following broader concepts in mind:

  • Affordability
    • Using economical design, construction & material choices and avoiding overly complex design compositions
  • Sustainability
    • Native landscaping, solar orientation, energy efficiency, thermal mass, indoor air quality, water efficiency, material sourcing, etc
  • Beauty
    • Meaning and beauty in architecture ensure building stewardship and reinforce sustainability

As of this moment, I have no idea where this design process will take me, but I am certainly looking forward to the ride.  It will be interesting to see how the successive drawings, sketches and your input inform the final product.  Feel free to comment on anything about the project going forward.  I’ve attached a few preliminary sketches, though the final product will undoubtedly look entirely different from what you see here!

  1. I’m pretty excited to follow this series.

  2. Thanks, Drew! I’m excited to go through the process. Hopefully, it will be interesting to design professionals as well as people not in the design field.

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