Monday, September 14, 2009

10x10x10 Green Building Slam

Anna and I will be presenting at the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild's annual Green Design Slam on September 25th, 6:30pm at the Seattle Public Library. This is a fun, high energy look at 10 green projects. Each presentation will feature 10 slides and the presentations will be 10 minutes each. Our presentation of the San Juan Channel House will focus on the major areas of sustainability implemented in the project: site selection, minimal site disturbance, limiting house size while maximizing outdoor spaces, use of geothermal and radiant floor heat, energy savings through Energy Star appliances, daylighting, and natural ventilation, local materials and craftsmanship, non-toxic and natural materials, use of advanced framing, use of salvaged items, a construction waste management plan, and allowing for adaptability and transformation through separation of spaces and a garage apartment.

The theme that has emerged for the San Juan Channel House is "Real Green, Real World." The house was built for significantly less than other custom homes without cutting any corners with lower quality materials or sacrificing design. For example, Anna's must-have for the project was the set of 3 custom door and window combinations for the main living areas. These were built by the general contractors, Gordon Elliot and Gypsy O'Neill, in a shop less than a mile from the house. They purchased local fir which was locally straightened and corrected by Window Craft in Friday Harbor, where the other custom wood windows were built for the project.

A large portion of the budget was spent on these windows, which provide views to the front and back to keep an eye on the kids wherever they are playing, in addition to views of the forested back yard and the water, abundant natural light and ventilation. These walls of glass are priceless in the "delight" they bring to the project. "Delight" was the term that Gwynne Pugh, of Pugh + Scarpa architects, used to describe the San Juan Channel House during the jury comments of the AIA Seattle What Makes it Green? awards ( And though a large part of the budget, the money paid did not leave the community: it went directly to the contractors, the local sawmill, and the local window manufacturer.

So, "Real Green, Real World" is not just about building as green as possible, it's about building place in the Real World where people are delighted to live and be.

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