Masonry efficient on Kimberly Knoll: this efficient solar house is just what the doctor ordered.
The architect and owner had debated remodeling the original house on the site, which needed some work. It was moldy and uninsulated and built on an unheated slab on grade. They finally settled on building a new house, but they reused some of the original structure's materials like structural steel beams. They're happy with their decision, mainly because the new house has better solar orientation and driveway access. The orientation follows the movement of the sun with passive solar exposure and solar panels on the roof. The driveway access, which was very steep and shady before, is now from a cul-de-sac providing a more convenient entry to the property.
Dodson is an enthusiastic proponent of the "insulated masonry envelope," a highly energy, efficient building method: "Our experience has shown us that a solar house's performance Is maximized by the 'masonry envelope' and slab in-floor heat because of the extra energy efficiency provided by the thermal mass." For this house, she used the Durisol[R] exterior wall system. Durisol[R] is a wall form made out of mineralized woodchips and cement with mineral wool insulation inside the wall form. After the forms are stacked, and horizontal and vertical steel bars are placed, the cavities are filled with concrete. The walls are ten- to twelve inches thick and provide good insulation, thermal mass, great sound-proofing and an eight-hour fire rating. This masonry wall system is non-toxic and uses recycled materials. Chapman likes the masonry system for reasons other than just efficiency: "I sleep very well in my sound-proof house."
During this project, Dodson modified the house design several times in order to meet the owner's changing personal needs. "What brings a project alive is blending the building site's distinct characteristics with the needs and expectations of the occupants," says Dodson. "Orientation to maximize the views and light conditions in relation to the function of space is an important consideration in addition to the technology of the house. As the owner's needs and circumstances change, so too will the house design throughout the design stage."
Top Green Points
masonry wall system offers higher insulation value and thermal mass; solar hot water heat and domestic hot water
wall system is non-toxic; natural stucco outside; gypsum wallboard with low toxicity paint
wall system made with sustainable, recycled components; reuse of original structure's materials: native plant landscaping
Kimberly Knoll Road in Asheville, NC
Alice Dodson, Architect
3,400 square feet plus two-car garage
just under $200/square foot
Durisol[R] exterior wall system
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|Title Annotation:||green home resource[TM]: GREEN HOME SHOWCASE|
|Publication:||New Life Journal|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2007|
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