NEXTHouse is a 2,700 square foot, custom-designed home fusing the northwest modern tradition with the highest quality environmentally sustainable building techniques, features, and finishes. It is a speculative venture on the part of the architect, created to demonstrate cutting edge “green” features and modern design in a “for sale” residence.
NEXTHouse is located on a 5,500 square foot, south-facing, in-city corner lot. It is designed to fully appreciate the land, reaching out to views and light, while providing a lush microclimate of northwest appropriate landscaping. Terraces, decks, and patios encourage outdoor living in both formal and private settings.
NEXTHouse replaces an un-sound existing residence which was “deconstructed” with the majority of the framing material reused in the new structure. To minimize site disruption, the new house was sited on a portion of the existing foundation. The original siding was re-milled and used as an element of the new siding. A rigid program of on site waste recycling was implemented. The impacts of enlarging the footprint of the house are mitigated by the inclusion of eco-roofs to moderate additional storm-water collection.
Energy conservation techniques include spray polyurethane foam insulation, a high efficiency / low emissions gas condensing boiler for the radiant floor system, an air-to-air heat exchange ventilation system, natural stack ventilation for cooling, PEX plumbing piping (better insulated, shorter runs to fixtures) and the use of clerestory windows to maximize daylighting opportunities. Energy generation is included via a roof mounted 1kw thin film solar panel array with net metering.
Recycled, renewable or reclaimed materials include FSC certified framing material and wood trim, fly-ash concrete, re-used materials from the existing residence as described above, FSC certified hardwood flooring, Ipe wood decking, FSC certified plywood cabinetry boxes, countertops made from post-consumer waste products, linoleum flooring and natural wool carpets.
A healthy indoor environment is maintained by using only low-voc finishes including paint and clear cabinetry and floor finishes, an air-to-air heat exchange ventilation system with HEPA filter, radiant floor heating as opposed to forced air, and the use of formaldehyde free plywood. Also, stack ventilation will allow healthy air movement through the house.
NEXTHouse is a demonstration of the future of the single family home. It is in-city, compact, efficient and “green”. As a model for what can be done toward sustainable housing at a reasonable cost, this house should prove invaluable in promoting the inclusion of such features on residential work throughout the region.