Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nature Borne Design_A new home rising next to the Mad River

What does nature borne design mean to you? I've been using this term a bit while describing a residence we are working on in our office. I use this term perhaps for many reasons, but a primary one is because the dwelling is sited to connect to the remnants of an old Dam off of a beautiful portion forested land of the Mad River near Middlesex in North Central Vermont. The dam forms a strong edge to the north part of the home and creates a datum along which the entire building is organized. The eastern most portion of the home practically juts out over the River in a symbiotic and respectful manner with fabulous southern views down river.

The building literally comes out of the earth with the stone dam edge anchoring it against the steep stream edge. It has strong horizontal lines with stone cladding and a slate waterline encircling the home. The stone is being harvested from generations old stone farm walls from the site. The flat roof will have deep overhangs emphasizing the horizontal qualities helping to tie it back into the landscape. A green roof is being designed to mitigate stormwater impacts on the nearby stream. Heavy timber fir roof framing is currently being erected on site.

Numerous renewable energy features are in the process of being installed on site. In front of the building a pond is being constructed to provide a safe swimming environment and do double duty as a heat sink and to tie into the radiant heating & cooling system in the home. A nearby stream will provide water to the pond. A portion of its flow will be diverted along a pipe snaking through the woods feeding into the pond.

Photovoltaic electric panels are going to be installed on the river side of the building as well as directly south facing atop a wood shed building adjacent to the building. An orchard of Solar Tracker PV electric panels will be installed in a nearby field a few hundred feet from the building.

I will be posting images of the building soon.