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

Lot-Ek on Shipping Containers by kongchan4

Precidents by mattp614
September 10, 2008, 8:16 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags:

I have two books on my desk that are nice to look through. One is on compact houses and the other is on affordable homes. Unfortunately they do not say how compact or how affordable they are, but they give a nice idea of how spaces can be arranged and common materials can be used in a more interesting way. They will be on my desk until next tuesday.

Annex House by cslota
September 5, 2008, 8:38 am
Filed under: precedents | Tags: ,

This home designed by Jun Igarashi Architects Inc. of Japan is a small home that utilized the concept of a loft to organize the space. It is a seemingly small home (approx. 1,000 – 1,200 sq ft, not much is written about the house) that is able to encompass all the necesities of modern living in an open, un-inhibiting space. Its exterior is wrapped in a translucent material (unknown) that gives off a soft glow at night, much like a lantern, and allows the space to flood with light in the daytime. The unusual feature of this home is that there are almost no walls, instead the architect treated spaces that needed enclosure, such as the mechanical space, as volumes slotted into the main space which allowed that volume to act as a partition.

Solar Decathlon by tsaeed
September 3, 2008, 4:17 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags: ,

The Solar Decathlon joins 20 college and university teams in a competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.

2007 results:

First Place: Technische Universität Darmstadt

Second Place: University of Maryland

Third Place: Santa Clara University

This one, built by students from U of I in Urbana, Champaign, is currently open for visitors at the Center for Green Technology at 445 North Sacramento Boulevard in Chicago.

Solar Energy PPT by nataliemikosz

This is a PowerPoint Presentation titled “The Power of the Sun” that a team, including myself, completed for a course on Global Warming.  It pertains primarily to solar energy and how we can use it; as well as looking at a case study home in Idaho that is completely energy independent.  After looking at this we take a look at your average single family home and compare costs.  We also briefly address other types of renewable energies, such as wind and geothermal power. 

Click here to view the powerpoint: The Power of the Sun

Rural Studio by joelzook
September 3, 2008, 4:13 pm
Filed under: precedents, Social / Cultural Issue
Glass Chapel, Rural Studio

Rural Studio provides students a Auburn the opportunity to design and build homes and community buildings for impoverished people in Mississippi. Working on extremely tight budgets (current projects include a $20k house), they find a way to make simple decent

Glass Chapel, Rural Studio

housing for those who would otherwise have very few options. Many of their materials were salvaged from previous buildings or post industrial use. For example, one house uses leftover carpet remnants staked on top of each other essentially creating a highly insulative “masonry” wall. Another project uses dozens of car windshields as rain screen for a chapel and community center. There are two books in the GRC on Rural Studio and Auburns official site can be found here.

Zero-Emissions Home, UK by nataliemikosz
September 3, 2008, 3:55 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags: , ,

The Kingspan Off-Site’s Lighthouse design is an example of a zero-emissions home design in the UK that was unveiled in 2007.  It utilizes (1) a wind catcher for summer ventilation, (2) photovoltaic panels for hot water and electricity, (3) a high level of wall insulation, and (4) a biomass boiler.  The house would cost about 40% more than an average house of the same size, but will save tremendously in operating costs, which will over-time cancel out the initial pricetag. 

Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons by cyu14
September 3, 2008, 2:58 pm
Filed under: precedents, Technology | Tags: , , ,

The Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons, located on the Loyola University Chicago campus, was completed in December of 2007.  Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the building to optimize energy efficiency while keeping the majority of the building transparent on the east and west facing sides. A key feature of the building is its concrete ceiling panels. These panels provide a three-in-one solution that is both sustainable and energy efficient. The panels are pre-fabricated to allow for ease of construction and reduced waste. The vaulted shape of each panel provides a greater surface area for the radiant heating and cooling tubing installed within. Additionally, each vault when used with upward lighting increases the distribution of light, reducing the overall strength (and therefore energy) needed to illuminate the building.

Eames House by tsaeed
September 3, 2008, 2:23 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags:

eames house

Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames had a profound influence on design in the latter half of the 20th century, both in the United States and throughout the world. Their motto for design was taking “the most of the best to the greatest number of people for the least.”

The Eameses’ influence on American style and taste is so profound as to be almost indiscernible. But every time we pick up a Pottery Barn catalog, snap together a shelf from Ikea, or spread out a rug from Pier 1, Charles and Ray Eames are not far away. In part, this is because of their design philosophy, which was founded on finding lasting solutions to fundamental needs, but also because they worked closely with large corporate and government entities to expose their design solutions to as many people as possible.

The Eames House, Case Study House #8, was one of 25 homes built as part of The Case Study House Program. The program came into being in the mid-1940s and continued through the early 1960s, largely through the efforts of John Entenza, publisher of Arts and Architecture magazine. The magazine announced that it would be the clients for a series of architect-design homes to be built and furnished using materials and techniques derived from the experiences of the second World War and best suited to express man’s life in the modern world. Each home built would be for a real or hypothetical client taking into considerations their particular housing needs.

Charles and Ray proposed that the home they designed would be for a married couple who were basically apartment dwellers working in design and graphic arts, and who wanted a home that would make no demands for itself, but would, instead serve as a background for as Charles would say, “life in work” with nature as a “shock absorber.”

The first plan of their home, known as the Bridge House, was designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen in 1945. Because it used off-the-shelf parts ordered from catalogues, and the war had caused a shortage in materials delivery, the steel did not arrive until late 1948. By then, Charles and Ray had “fallen in love with the meadow,” in Ray’s words, and felt that the site required a different solution.

Charles and Ray then posed themselves a new problem: How to build a house with maximized volume with the same elements and not destroy the meadow. Using the same off-the-shelf parts, but ordering one extra steel beam, Charles and Ray re-configured the House. It is this design which was built and remains today.

Charles and Ray moved into the House on Christmas Eve, 1949, and lived here for the rest of their lives. The interior, its objects and its collections remain very much the way they were in Charles and Ray’s lifetimes. The house they created offered them a space where work, play, life, and nature co-existed.

The House has now become something of an iconographic structure visited by people from around the world. The charm and appeal of the House is perhaps best explained in the words of Case Study House founder, John Entenza, who felt that the Eames House “represented an attempt to state an idea rather than a fixed architectural pattern.” (

Smart Home: Green + Wired by tsaeed
September 3, 2008, 1:50 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags: ,

Considered to the “greenest home in Chicago,” this 2500 square foot house is currently on exhibit for “Smart Home: Green + Wired” at the Museum of Science and Industry. It is a three-story modular and sustainable green home that has many smart features, green roofs and gardens. The home was designed by Michelle Kaufmann Designs and constructed by All American Homes.

Click for resource guide