The house was conceived with low maintenance materials and finishes, high-performance and sustainability in mind; with the eventual addition of a solar array to help achieve a net positive electricity output. A contemporary home inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, this building was designed with oversized windows that would maximize natural light to the interior spaces without compromising comfort and energy performance. The implementation of exposed FSC certified Siberian Larch wood and custom RAL color paint to complement the exterior facade create a contemporary look with traditional elements that blend well in the landscape.
We worked with the architect and owner Brian Thomson to achieve the desired performance and look for the windows. The house is set in Wakefield, MA, a suburb 25 minutes north of Boston, challenging the misconception that sustainable homes are usually built in more secluded areas. The neighborhood is walkable, and one can get to the house via public transportation. The architect implemented passive solar techniques in which the orientation of the house was carefully studied in the design phase. Understanding the trajectory of the sun throughout the year allowed the architect to specify the windows and doors to maximize performance, comfort and natural light.
The Architect chose the Bildau and Bussmann IV79 wood model (Jeremy insert Hyperlink to model), with Eco Supply recommending the Siberian Larch wood species for its high-density (impact resistance), tight grain (dimensional stability), resiliency to the elements, and natural beauty (golden color). A split finish was implemented, with a silver/grey R.A.L. color applied to the wood exterior creating a nice contrast with the front facade’s grey/brown wood siding. Purposely active sashes were left showing the tight grain pattern and beautiful soft golden color of the Larch with only a clear coat stain applied for protection. The interior wood frames were finished with a clear coat as well, to expose the warm and natural color to match the warmth of the interior of the house.
One of the more technical challenges was the addition of butt glazed corners (glass to glass), this was particularly difficult to achieve with triple pane glass. The architect was looking to achieve a transparent corner, something that few commercial window companies offer. The butt glazed condition had to maintain an air-tight seal, and thermal performance as well; Bildau & Bussmann worked through the shop drawing process to engineer the condition and came up with a detail that called for 2 Insulated Glazing Units (IGU's) that would butt against each other, with a silicone seal along the glass connection line and the third pane of glass on one side overlapping the other to achieve a tight fully glazed outside corner. The wood frames where routed to be mulled in the field and achieve a seamless transition at head and sill.
The house was thoughtfully designed to include Cantilevered SIP roof panels whose overhang maximizes solar heat gain in the winter when the sun is low in the sky and shields the glazed areas of the building from direct sun in the summer when the sun is high in the sky. Eco Supply also proposed and provided special window treatments pleated shades that implement a glass adhesive allowing the shades to travel with the sash as it tilts in with the hopper function or opens in with the swing function. The shades can be pulled up and down and can be set to remain at a specific height. These shades were used in the bed and bath areas. Many of these windows are floor to ceiling. In these cases, the top down function is a nice feature as it allows for flexibility in the trade-off between privacy and view to the outside.
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