Notes from Designing Living Roofs – Part III...

The roof garden from above with terrace.

In previous posts, we have looked at the addition of a green roof over a garage at a residence located on a steep slope which provided the clients with a planted space in the front of the house.  In a second post, we looked at the implementation of a green roof as a key design component which allows the new residence to blend into a lush landscape.

In this section, we will take a look at the design of a new residence which provides a garden hideaway for the clients.  For the 2 Bar Project in Menlo Park, California, the clients came to the project looking for cost effective, energy efficient solutions for their home. They are also avid gardeners and offering the clients additional square footage to plant, as opposed to a traditional roof, was appealing to the clients.

The 500sf roof garden is hidden from view until climbing the main stairway and catching a glimpse of the garden from the second floor bridge.  Accessible from the master bedroom,

View to the garden from the master bedroom.

the green roof includes a recessed roof deck which comfortably seats the family of four. In terms of sustainability, the green roof over the living/dining/kitchen area serves to insulate the house in cool weather, controls solar heat gain and reduces water run-off.

Typical, intensive green roof assembly would have required up-sizing of the roof framing, including additional steel, rendering it cost prohibitive. Instead, an exceptionally lightweight engineering with a shallow 2-6” soil depth for the 2 Bar green roof assembly with sedum plants and river rock edging overcomes this challenge. The garden, designed and planted by Lauren Schneider of Wonderland Garden, has been blooming for two years.  Sedum, succulents, aloe, vivums, and ice plants make up the garden which flowers in swaths of white and purple – an unexpected, secret garden in a suburban neighborhood.

2 BAR TECHNICAL INFO

View of house and green roof.

The green roof here includes a layer of plastic coating, a roofing barrier, a drainage mat to facilitate drainage, a capillary mat that holds water and encourages plants to take root, a subterranean drip system, a filter fabric to prevent the soil from clogging, a lightweight planting material (15 pounds per square foot) and the seedlings.

Jonathan Feldman is Editorial Director of Green Architecture Notes and Principal of Feldman Architecture.

Summer 2011 Newsletter...

 

 

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Feldman Architecture

2011 AIA San Francisco Design Awards

The Caterpillar House Wins Citation Award in Energy + Sustainability

Caterpillar House Image
From the AIA San Francisco Website:
The design for the Caterpillar House, sited on the softly rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve, sought to accentuate a connection to the land. Having lived in a Cliff May home, the client came to the project with a love of modern ranch houses and looking for an environmentally-conscious response to a beautiful site. The Caterpillar House implements sustainable elements while exploring a contemporary version of the ranch ideals: massing that is low and horizontal, an open plan with a strong connection between indoor/outdoor spaces, and living areas which center informally on the kitchen. The jury commented: “This is a project that gets the priorities straight. Design for energy efficiency first, then add renewable energy sources.”

Or click here to learn more and view the 2011 winners!

Launching Our New Graphic Identity

Feldman Architecture has a new look courtesy of Anjel Van Slyke of A Dangerous Business.  To see our revised website click here.

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What’s Behind the Door?...

When choosing doors to improve indoor-outdoor connections, we always consider a number of competing objectives and challenges. Among the important considerations are how large do we want individual panels to be, how large of a clear opening are we trying to create, the style of the house, the weather exposure, and the need for insect protection. – Jonathan

House Ocho: 4-panel sliders
Here we used two operable and two fixed doors to get a wide opening to the patio. We extended the score lines of the concrete floor inside the house to the outside creating planting strips to emphasize the indoor-outdoor connection.
Ocho-Doors

Henry House: 4-Panel Sliders 
This attic conversion in San Francisco used similar sliding doors to connect to a new roof deck.Henry-Doors

Buena Vista: Custom Pivot Doors
Custom pivot doors create a nice modern punch in this San Francisco Victorian. We like the way that, when open, the doors provide a directionality that draws one out to the spectacular view beyond.
Buena-Vista-Doors

Old Bernal: Two Large Lift and Slide Doors
This oversized lift and slide door is made of two operable panels that provide large openings and flexibility.Old-Bernal-Doors

Open Box 2: Slide-Fold Doors
These multi-panel doors have a limitation in terms of how wide each door panel can be, but they make up for it in providing a clear, unobstructed opening when the doors are pushed to the side.

Open_Box_2_Doors

Sustainable Sidebar: Surfaces “What Can’t You Recycle or Reuse?”...

In this Sustainable Sidebar product post, we’ve decided to highlight a few sustainable surface materials durable enough to handle the daily wear-and-tear on your dwelling, but won’t harm your conscience. Made with recycled content, rapidly-renewable resources, natural composite materials, or all of the above, these products are healthy for you, your home, and the environment… Did I mention some of them are also playful and fun?!

ShektaStone – Counterfeit Line: Recycled Paper – Currency removed from Circulation

ShetkaStone is made from 100% recycled paper, plant, or cloth fibers. For the counterfeit line they use shredded currency, removed from circulation. Plaster, plastic polyester, and paper glue are used as supplemental binding agents, and then sealed with a zero VOC finish. When you’re finished with your ShektaStone, it can be recycled and used in the manufacturing of new products.

Teragren – Moso Bamboo: Strand Face in Wheat

Bamboo is an amazing material. Used for everything from serving utensils to structural building materials, this resource covers the gamut and it’s rapidly renewable. Teragren uses a specific species of bamboo for their surfaces. Optimum 5.5 Moso Bamboo from the Zhejiang province in China, is among the hardest species, with extremely dense fibers. Bamboo reaches maturity every 5-1/2 to 6 years, when it is then harvested for use.

ConcreteWorks – Color Husk: Concrete surface with Rice Hull Fillers

ConcreteWorks has developed a sustainable concrete without compromising its wonderful character. They have replaced raw aggregates with post-consumer recycled material and industrial by-products, diverting upwards of 80% of the total product weight in material from landfill. In the Husk color, one of those recycled fillers is rice hulls. This protective covering for a grain of rice, is a natural substitute for raw aggregates and creates beautiful visual texture.

Trinity Glass – Absolutely: Recycled Glass and Low-Carbon Cement

Trinity Glass is a composite surface made from a patent-pending formulation of recycled glass and low-carbon cement. The surfaces are used for countertops, tabletops, wall cladding, and exterior surfaces. The beautiful color palette is suitable for any design, commercial or residential.

OKITE – Prisma Giallo: Quartz

OKITE is composed of natural quartz crystals. This surfacing material is highly stain and scratch resistant, making it a great option for kitchen and bath applications. The manufacturing process creates a product that is harder, non-porous and easier to maintain than natural stone.

Squak Mountain Stone – Recycled Paper and Glass / Low-Carbon Cement / Fly Ash – Natural

Squak Mountain Stone is a fibrous-cement material comprised of recycled paper, recycled glass, coal fly-ash and cement. The material is hand-cast into “slabs” as an alternative to natural or quarried stone. This product is finished beautifully with a similar resemblance to soapstone or limestones.

The Karoo Wilderness Center...

Karoo Wilderness Center 1

The design of the Karoo Wilderness Center, located in South Africa, has recently won the Progressive Architecture Award for its sensitivity to its site, self-reliance, and stunning design. Jess Field of Field Architecture describes, “The site demanded a solution that focused on water… and a form that speaks to it.” The design first focused on providing water, power, and waste systems that work together and support a building that lacks access to municipal utilities. The solution was also shaped by the desire to create an experience that affects the consciousness of visitors.

Aloe Ferox in Bloom

An Aloe Ferox Plant in Bloom

Field Architecture consists of Jess and his father Stan; each has strong connections to the area and hope the project will set an example of building in way that ensures the beauty of the land will last. The Karoo desert supports the greatest botanical diversity of any arid region. The Karoo Wilderness Center provides a library, dining facility and residences for leaders and visitors concerned with the conservation of natural resources. While visitors will feel the weight of the roof and its important function above them, their view will be pushed outward towards the landscape.

Section of an Aloe Plant

Many of the thriving plants in the Karoo are in the succulent family, well-known for aloe vera, which store water in swollen appearing leaves, stems or roots. The aloe ferox, similar to aloe vera and also harvested for its aloe and sap, was Field Architecture’s inspiration for the swollen roofs which gather and store rainwater. The roofs also provide temperature control for the building. During the hot day, the ceiling forms encourage air flow through each of the three pavilions while stored water provides evaporative cooling. In the evenings when heating is required, water warmed by the sun provides radiant heat. In addition, photovoltaic panels provide power and the facility processes its own waste.

The project is currently following a construction schedule that respects the fragile state of the land. Before infrastructure could be installed, aloe ferox plants were carefully relocated. The threat of unnatural erosion resulting from construction and transportation is minimized by observing the natural rain cycles.

Field Architecture was formed in 2006 and maintains an international practice out of their Palo Alto office. To learn more about their practice, visit http://fieldarchitecture.com/

Camille Cladouhos works at Feldman Architecture and is a frequent contributor to Green Architecture Notes.

What’s In a Cabinet?...

Walls don’t have to be the only physical separation between rooms or spaces.  At Feldman Architecture, we often use cabinetry to define boundaries.  Cabinetry adds variation to a room’s palette through the use of different materials, like wood and glass.  It also has the benefit of transparency, which isn’t as easily achieved with framed walls.  Open shelving and transparent or translucent materials keep a visual connection between rooms, but still help define space.  Plus, cabinetry is very useful for storage!  Here are a few examples of how we’ve used cabinetry. – Lindsey

Below: A combination of etched glass panels and stained wood cabinetry act as a buffet for the Dining Room on one side and a media center for the Family Room on the other side.
Cabinets-01

Below: Transparency plays a big role in making this kitchen cabinetry useful but still keeping a strong visual connection between rooms.
Cabinets-02

Below Left: The mixture of materials in this work station keeps the palette interesting.  The combination of open shelves and translucent panels provides natural light and give a sense of openness, while still providing necessary storage.
Below Right: The use of kitchen cabinetry provides useful function, while maintaining a strong visual connection to the Dining Room.
Cabinets-03


Left: A continuous low cabinet runs the length of the house and even outside, tying the rooms together.  Inside it is Kitchen cabinetry, a Dining Room buffet, and Family Room storage.  Outside, it becomes the BBQ and food prep station.