March 28, 2010

Adaptive re-use in house design DvH2010 04

New buildings aren't always entirely new. A desire to protect the environment and to preserve historic architecture is inspiring architects to re-purpose, or re-use, older structures.

Trend-setting houses can be constructed from the shell of an outdated factory, an empty warehouse, or an abandoned church.

This lovely old house, formerly a house of meditation and worship, was converted into a private retreat.
It has wonderful architectural character, beautiful vaulted ceilings, and views of the Pacific Ocean and the hillsides.

We have recycled the original house (saved it so the materials would not go into a landfill). Saved all mature trees to provide much needed shade in the summer. We did rainwater irrigation (the gutters and drain spouts are directed to the landscaping, cutting down on the need to irrigate the drought tolerant natural landscaping). No AC (strategically placed windows encourage excellent cross ventilation). Fixtures, fittings, floors, tiles, spiral staircase are from architectural salvage and demolition sites. Low-E coated windows with low-emittance coating will block heat and UV rays from entering the house. Low-Flush toilets, Low-flow showerheads cut down by as much as 50% usage, and all Energy Star appliances add additional savings. All paints and finishes have low levels of toxic volatile organic compounds.

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