Designing a floor plan is more than just a simple space planning exercise. It's an intricate 3 dimensional puzzle that has to be expressed in 2 dimensional space with many dynamic factors. Floor plans need to be site specific and client specific. It's crucial to be thinking in 3 dimensions, always referencing the topography of the site, the elevations and sections, and iterating often to create a refined, well thought out design.
In this video, I go over my process for designing the assemblies and details in section for this modern cabin in much more detail, discussing the main building science principles that we have to adhere to in order to have a durable and healthy home.
Kitchens are one of the most important spaces in a home. Not only do we use this space to prepare food, but we spend a lot of our time socializing with family and friends in this space and creating memories.. On top of the challenge of designing a relatively small kitchen, this space also has to serve as a work area during the day time, meaning the kitchen will need to be concealable.
Materials are what give our spaces character and personality, and can help tell a story about the home. The expression of materials can create unique experiences, and invoke certain feelings while in that space, whether it’s calm, relaxing, comforting, lively, etc. The materials that we choose for our homes are likely going to be there for a while, and it’s important that we’re making informed decisions about how we choose these products.
Thinking about using stucco for your new home? Unfortunately, the conventional way stucco is installed is exactly the problem. Stucco acts as a sponge, and therefore any surface behind it is getting soaked, there's no way around it. If this surface is unable to dry, water is going to accumulate and make its way inside causing mold and rot, exacerbated by vapor drive during the warm months. We need a couple of air gaps/drainage planes that will facilitate the drying process.
In this first review, I will be correcting a wall section from a residential project in a mixed humid climate zone. This structure is framed with a combination of steel, concrete, and wood construction, making for some interesting detailing around these joints and connections. In this review, I'll be talking about thermal bridging, condensation, and vapor drive, and how correct the problems associated with these design decisions that have resulted in these problems using common sense building science.
The first thing that most people think of when they hear "high performance" is insulation. However, when we talk about a high performance wall assembly, we are referring to more than just insulation. A high performance wall needs to be able to handle bulk water, have the ability to dry out if it gets wet, it needs to be airtight, and it needs to be able to prevent condensation, or at least have a strategy to deal with condensation and water vapor.
Elevations are 2 dimensional profile views of a building. While plans show us what is happening in the horizontal plane, elevations show us what’s happening in the corresponding vertical planes. What needs to be understood is that the floor plan will always affect the elevations and vice versa, as there will always be a direct relationship between the horizontal and vertical planes of space. In this video, I go over my elevation design process from start to finish for a modern cabin that will serve as a live work space.