For the young, and active couple who were looking to start a family, it was Design, Design, Design, with extra attention to the energy efficiency. They wanted a home that they could start and raise a family in. One with large open social spaces, allowing for a flow of communication regardless of whether they were cooking dinner, playing in the living room, or out on the covered patio. They wanted a two car garage in front, with an additional large garage on the west side, that could be used for extra toys, vehicles, DIY projects and anything else they could want. It was important that their master suite be on the main floor along with two additional bedrooms adjoined by a “jack-n-jill” bathroom. When all of the designing was finished, we integrated energy efficient strategies that eliminated many of the worries that other homeowners have to deal with, allowing them to revel in what they had created.
The special design features that make this house one of the most energy efficient houses in the Tri-City area are:
1. Special attention to the orientation of the house. The back of the house faces north, captures the beautiful view of the Columbia River and both bridges, andnever gets direct sunlight. With this position, they get a lot of natural light, without the added heat. On the west side of the house, where there is the most direct sunlight and wind exposure, there is only a small window in the upstairs and a downstairs garage, thus allowing for little heat exchange.
2. It was built with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), which create an almost impenetrable building envelope, and Raised-Healed Trusses sprayed with Flash Insulation, to add to the insulation value of the home.
3. With such a tight building envelop it was important to have a system that would allow for fresh, clean air to enter the house, while stale air was being removed, without losing heat. Putting in a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) did just that.