You are hereBlogs / WcP.Scientific.Mind's blog / Prefab, high-concept and green: an eco-house that’s low-maintenance, small-carbon-footprint and also a work of art

Prefab, high-concept and green: an eco-house that’s low-maintenance, small-carbon-footprint and also a work of art


By WcP.Scientific.Mind - Posted on 10 November 2008

the house fulfills the owners' ambition to create a work of art that is intensely green: it relies on cross-ventilation for cooling, passive solar energy for heating and recycled water for irrigating the garden

(quote)

Thomas Small is an accomplished cook, so it’s important for him to try new and exotic ingredients every now and then. When it came to the construction of his eco-friendly house, that’s exactly what his architects gave him. After all, crushed sunflower husks and shredded blue jeans don’t sound like typical building blocks. But in the world of green design, such ingredients are not rare. So now, Mr. Small and his wife, Joanna Brody, along with their two very young children and a pair of large French Briard dogs, share a prefabricated urban building that has become an example for others looking for creative ways to go green.

shredded jeans encased in wire mesh insulate the ceiling and walls of the living room. Red-lacquered Ikea cabinets, topped with the same black-stained concrete as the floor, define the open kitchen

The project began with a challenge from one friend to another. “We want the greenest house you’ve ever designed, but we have almost no money,” Mr. Small recalled telling Whitney Sander, who, with his wife, Catherine Holliss, runs Sander Architects, of Venice, Calif. Another goal was that it be a quiet retreat and acoustically resonant to accommodate a passion of his, chamber music recitals. Inspired by the house that Charles and Ray Eames created in 1949 from a prefabricated steel frame and doors, windows and the like ordered from a catalog, the architects took the project on the condition that they could pursue a novel strategy. Besides using acrylic, Panelite, recycled steel and Styrofoam, they would try unusual ingredients like sunflower husks for wall panels and bookshelves, and blue jeans (for insulation).

It was an unorthodox vision for a site containing little more than a decrepit bungalow. Hoping to start a family and eager for abundant space and natural light, Ms. Brody, 44, and Mr. Small, 49, bought it a few years ago, exchanging a three-story Santa Monica town house for a bargain on a leafy cul-de-sac in this former blue-collar neighborhood. Because they have ties to the arts (she works at home as a public relations consultant to arts and environmental groups; he was a movie writer and producer and is now a marketing consultant to architects and also a music critic), they considered the location and its new art galleries and restaurants ideal.

Thomas Small and Joanna Brody's eco-friendly house in Culver City, Calif., is made of a prefabricated steel shell with windows set into burgundy-toned panels, and a south wall made of concrete, acrylic and glass

The bungalow wasn’t worth saving, so in its place the architects gave them a prefabricated structure with a customized steel frame and panels. The materials, which cost $22,000, arrived on a flatbed truck and were erected in three weeks, for $18,000. The contractor, Sean Icaza, embraced the chance to master a new way of building, but the biggest cost was time: with a tight budget, planning and construction stretched out for three years. The final cost, including trim, plumbing and so on, was $528,000, only about a third of the going rate for architect-designed houses of this size in the Los Angeles area.

Joey, 17 months old, joins his parents on the steel spiral staircase that links the bamboo mezzanine gallery to Mr. Small's studio, which is tucked in beneath the roof and has a projecting balcony with sweeping views

The 4,200-square-foot house, which is low-maintenance and has a small carbon footprint, rises to the 30 feet allowed by zoning. It runs along the site’s north side and, through five glass doors set side by side, opens southward to a long, thin yard. There is a duplex rental apartment over the carport in front, and bamboo and bougainvillea have been planted at the edge of the plot for screening.

The house fulfills the owners’ ambition to create a work of art that is intensely green: it relies on cross-ventilation for cooling and passive solar energy for heating, and recycled water irrigates the garden. Three sides of the house are clad in folded steel panels the color of a good burgundy. The fourth side, the south wall, is a geometric assembly of concrete, acrylic and glass, inspired, Mr. Sander said, by a Georges Braque Cubist piece, “Aria of Bach.”

To create rigid buttresses that support the upper floors, wire mesh and rebar were wrapped around Styrofoam and sprayed with concrete. For insulation and sound absorption, the ceiling and walls were lined with two layers of shredded jeans, part of them exposed. Held by wire mesh, they complement the screw-on panels of fiberboard, made of crushed sunflower husks and rising to 16 feet in the living area.

the 4,200-square-foot house is low maintenance and has a small carbon footprint

An open kitchen provides Mr. Small with a command post for entertaining. The entire living area is lighted from suspended bars and frames of halogen spots that are dimmed for energy conservation and will be replaced by L.E.D.’s, which are expected to become less costly. The north wall is lined with built-in bookshelves accessed from a shallow ramp. Made of broad bamboo stair treads, the ramp serves as a gallery for concerts on the concrete floor below. Lining it is a railing of rice grass laminated within sheets of tempered glass.

The ramp leads to the second-floor master bedroom, where clear windows near the ceiling offer a prime view of the light shows outside. ‘‘I love waking up to unshaded light and watching the passage of the moon,” Ms. Brody said. “On July Fourth, we watched four fireworks displays from our bed.”

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of Lawrence Anderson/Esto / The New York Times and Claudio Santin

Original Source: NY Times

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed

Twitter

WcP Blog on Twitter

Facebook

WcP Blog on Facebook

Paper.li

WcP Blog on Paper.li

Pinterest

WcP Blog on Pinterest


Browse other gifts from Zazzle.

Custom Search



Apple iBookstore









Inspirational Quote Posters

Amazon Kindle Books

Random image

ThinkAhead™ Calendar "To Health of Earth" 201001-201012 (Ocean)

Poll

Search the Web

Custom Search

Archive Calendar

October 2017
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"Everything is the product of one universal creative effort. There is nothing dead in Nature."
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

"Choose only one master - Nature."
~ Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

"True wisdom consists in not departing from nature and in molding our conduct according to her laws and model."
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • "Worldculturepictorial.com/blog is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)