This week we continue our “Sneak Peak” series of posts that take a deeper look into one of our projects. Most architects websites, ours included, feature a portfolio section which acts as a digital analogue to our leather bound physical portfolio. This provides a superficial look at our past work with a series of pretty pictures. The intent of our “Sneak Peak” series is to provide deeper insight and context into the design challenges and solutions behind these pretty pictures. This post will focus on our “Healthy House” project in Riverside, Ct which was completed in 2006.
Our clients, a young family of four, approached our office to design a new house in Riverside at a yet to be determined site. Once they had narrowed their search to a couple of properties, we visited each property (as we frequently do with our clients) and explored the pros/cons of each site - we did FAR computations, setback and utility reviews, solar orientation, etc. After our review, our clients purchased a .472 acre property, which allowed them a home of no more than 4,537 square feet. The property is on a wonderful dead-end street in Riverside with a south facing lot and a wonderful streetscape.
One of the primary concerns of our clients was the indoor air quality of the home. The family had multiple chemical sensitivities that the homes with standard construction materials and practices had exacerbated. As such, we had to review and evaluate every material that we specified for the home and every typical construction practice with respect to their effect on the indoor air quality of the home. Therefore, the primary goal of the project was to design a house focused on indoor air quality, while simultaneously designing a beautiful, high-end home with gracefull proportions and quality finishes.
A project such as this requires a very dedicated design team (both Architect and Owner). We did extensive research into several books and research reports on indoor air quality and healthy construction practices. The homeowner was dedicated to this process and put in countless hours of their own research and following up on reviewing the chemical makeup of various products. We had a mold specialist, MEP engineers as well as Building Science Corp review our drawings and make their recommendations. Finally, we had a builder that went through the painstaking process that involved atypical materials and construction processes that were not typical for the industry. The result is a healthy home that is focused on indoor air quality, that is beautiful as well.
Check out other Sneak Peak posts in the Series: