The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home

Solid Surfaces
September 29, 2008, 2:51 am
Filed under: Material/Building Systems | Tags:

Solid surfaces are used for countertops. has a list of various companies that specialize in solid surface. The following are some of the ones listed:

LG HI-MACS 1/4″ sheets
Wilsonart Gibraltar
Formica Half-Sheets
House Premium, by

Dovaé, by Chemcore Industries

Formica Premium Grade (PDF)
Mystera Premium Grade (PDF)

September 29, 2008, 1:41 am
Filed under: Material/Building Systems | Tags: ,

3-Form has many different products that can be used in various places.

Varia: made with ecoresin, the layers are ecoresin, organic, pure color, ecoresin. These layers sandwich together to form a variety of thicknesses. The smallest is 1/16″ and the largest is 1″ in thickness. The price increases with the thickness of course.

Varia comes in different themes which are listed below with a short description:

Organics: plants and other products found in nature

Play: very bright and fun colors, good for healthcare environments

Wood: self explanatory, wood paneling

Moderna: very neutral and used for aesthetics

Graphic: shapes and patterns

Dichroic: ethereal luminance

Pure Color

Woven: small strips of color woven together with strips of similar color to provide a checkered pattern


Surrealism: high resolution photographic patterns

100 Percent Post Consumer Recycled Material: low impact, high design

cut grass

orange slice


night sky

Alabaster: A rich incandescence emanates from this warm and translucent product. Drawing the creamy colors and swirls of pure gypsum into a more flexible polyresin panel, alabaster becomes a rich material alternative for everything from light diffusers to furnishings and privacy panels.

Chroma: A bold solid surface saturated with luminous color. This monolithic material is ideal for horizontal applications while being engineered to be resurfaced and re-colored again and again, preventing the material from entering the waste stream.

  • Durable – solid and sturdy for a variety of horizontal or vertical applications
  • Formable – can be shaped to accommodate radius curves
  • Renewable – surface can be renewed after years of use
  • Structural – thick and stable for engineered load bearing applications
  • Translucent – amazing clarity for unrivaled light transmission
  • Struttura: structural
    The pricing of each 3-form is different because of its specialization meaning that the price depends on the amount of layers, thickness, product type, etc. This page contains various specifications of the product. I spoke with a rep from the company and he said a good estimate on products is $25 – $35 per sq ft… a little pricey if you ask me

    Water as a Material
    September 3, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Filed under: Material/Building Systems, Technology | Tags: , ,

    Water is used in many different areas in architecture today. Usually there is a water feature that decorates (for lack of a better word) the site and adds to the building design. Another use of water within a building is for passive heating and cooling. In an article from the Arizona Solar Center, water is used in a more invisible way in that one cannot see the water but can feel the effects. Water walls are said to respond more quickly in the absorption and releasing of heat over masonry walls. Water walls are linked in with direct gain for the most part. The walls absorb the heat of the sun during the day and at night when it is cooler outside the heat is given up to the interior to reach equilibrium. The water in the walls must be contained in either plastic or metal or course and it heats more quickly and evenly than masonry walls. Also, having a glazing material that diffuses light can evenly distribute light / heat to all surfaces (ie. walls, flooring, ceiling etc.)

    In indirect gain a masonry wall design is used with a water wall between the sun and interior space. The water wall does not need to be vented at the top as masonry walls used in this manner.  The bottom of the wall can be a 55 gallon drum of water or a sealed plastic or concrete container. As the water is ehated the convection process distrbutes the heat through the water and the interior space is warmed by the radiating heat.

    Passive Day lighting Systems
    September 1, 2008, 8:39 pm
    Filed under: Material/Building Systems | Tags:

    Solatube is a company that specializes in daylighting and LEED lighting systems. They do both commercial and residential products. The dome is installed on the roof and collects sun into itself and the interior tube is aligned with mirrors that direct the light into the space below. The manufacturing of the tube is simple but the interior mirrors are highly complicated. There are various lenses that go on the tube to create a different ambiance within the spaces. It is very similar to electrical powered lights that are more common in homes.

    September 1, 2008, 8:25 pm
    Filed under: precedents | Tags:

    The american family has changed a lot throughout the years. Even within the family the dynamic changes. The family begins at marriage of course. These days people are getting married at various ages. Some get married very young, before late 20s and they wait off on having children for quite a bit of time. Other couples, do not get married until they are ready for children. Either way, children are  a part of the equation. In my research I found that couples get married younger and wait off on having children. I have come up with 5 phases of the american family’s life. The first one is newly married. This is where the couple establishes a place for themselves whether it be with one another or in the working world. After about 5 to 10 years, children become the topic of many conversations and become more realistic. Also the arrival of children into the family changes the home because everyone has to make changes to their lives. The spaces change to be more playful and less formal. More bedrooms are needed of course as well. After the children become closer or into the teen years the space once again changes. Privacy is a bigger and more demanding entity of the home. Teens always want to be left alone so that they feel independent, which in turn a separation of private and semi private and public spaces must be defined with the home. After teen years and the children move out of the house and become independent the space returns to its earlier years in sense. The children’s rooms could be converted to an office or gym or just a room that the parents would enjoy, similar to their interests before the children arrived, or maybe even a new interest. There are instances where the home returns to those days of past to accommodate the children, who aren’t really children anymore so really, the home just turns to accommodate more. Also various systems in the house must change in order to suit the elderly or other things in life that change with time and age. So in conclusion, my research has made me decide that there are a few things that have to change in the home to suit the ever changing family. Privacy is among the biggest changes that needs to happen. The levels of needed privacy change with the age of the family. The different activities and the needs of those also change with the age of the family. Everything is different for every individual family but for the most part there are always high points and lower points in the family as it grows with time.

    September 1, 2008, 7:44 pm
    Filed under: Material/Building Systems | Tags:


    Bamboo flooring has two different types of manufacturing them: horizontal and vertical. Horizontal flooring is where there are individual slats arranged in a horizontal direction and then joined adjacently with pieces on each side and laminated together. The characteristic nodes are randomly visible in this arrangement.

    Vertical bamboo flooring is where a vertical plank will have each piece stood on the narrowest edge and then pressed side to side with laminate. The final look is lined and almost uniform look to the surface of the finished floor.


    On, the prices of bamboo flooring vary. The lowest was $1.51 / sf and the highest was $6.97 / sf. Seeing as how budget is an issue in this problem, ifloor is probably the best place to find flooring. Also the selection is quite extensive. Other benefits of bamboo flooring are that the maintenance is easy and it is an easily renewable resource. As a “grass” bamboo grows quickly making it very easy to come by. Bamboo is also highly durable and very resistant to moisture and insects.