...creating a sustainable future, one project at a time.
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This modest project was a proposal for a garage with second floor bunk house intended to alleviate pressure at the client's summer cabin. As family grew and children of the owner began to have children of their own, so too grew pressure on accommodations at the cabin and the need for additional bedrooms and bathroom space. This garage was proposed as a replacement to an existing storage "out-building" which was valuable for storage of equipment and water craft, especially in the off season.
The project was proposed to incorporate a sauna as the property had an existing wood-fired sauna on site which was becoming a safety concern. The primary need however was for additional bedroom space as well as space for younger members of the family to socialize, particularly later into the evenings when other members of the family wished for quiet.
The inspiration for the bunk house was drawn from the material quality of the existing cabin with it's stained board and batten siding. However, there was an added element to this proposal; the use of polycarbonate siding. The intent was to provide ample interior illumination directly and indirectly. The bulk of wall in the main living space was proposed to be sheathed inside and outside with polycarbonate with windows placed in it just as they might be in a typical wall system. The natural lighting would filter through the wall providing abundant indirect light while direct sunlight and air could stream through the windows. The polycarbonate was inspired by the agrarian buildings that can be seen in the rural area around the cabin.
First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
This suburban home was the brainchild of its owner. Having poured over online plans and painstakingly assembling the best features of each, he enlisted Braun Architects to help complete his vision for this Georgia home. With additional input regarding the design and our expertise to develop the solution for roofing the house and documenting the plan for construction, Braun Architects was able to facilitate the owner's efforts to complete his vision for this project.
This project represents a level of owner involvement that is uncommon however, each owner is unique not only for their individual vision for their project, but for the level to which they might wish to be involved in the design process. Braun Architects is willing to work with each and every owner to enable them to choose what's best for them. Our expertise is partly as designer and partly as facilitator giving the client the ability to put their signature on their project.
First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
Color Study / Rendering of Front Facade
Color Study of Rear Elevation
Garage and Mud Room Entry
West Elevation: large windows at Great Room
This project represents an answer to the question; "what would a "sustainable" house on a typical Minneapolis city lot look like?". The typical city lot has a narrow footprint relative to the street while extending toward the alley about three times that width. The long narrow site proves to be a challenge in a number of ways and particularly in City neighborhoods where alleys are not present. Many of these latter neighborhoods have, as the standard layout, a detached garage in the rear yard and a driveway that runs along the property line from the street to that garage. It makes for a lot of paved side yard!
The concepts represented in this project are drawn from the framework for a sustainable approach to architecture exemplified by LEED (Leadership in Energy, Environment and Design). LEED is a system by which features, or materials incorporated into a design can be tracked, quantified and categorized in order that performance targets can be established for a building, measured and met. Though this design draws on many of the performance targets advanced by LEED, it is not intended to represent a particular rating guideline; it merely represents what might result if sustainable practices are integrated into a design and how those practices serve not only to improve the performance of the home but also improve the livability and comfort of the home.
Many of the criterion for sustainability focus on high performance appliances, plumbing fixtures and lighting. This element of sustainability simply seeks to reduce consumption of electricity and water. Additional energy saving features are integrated into the architecture of the house. These features would include the size and orientation of windows for natural lighting and views, ceiling height, open floor plans and operable windows that enhance natural air circulation to improve natural summer-time cooling.
Finally, the use of particular materials is key to sustainable construction. These are materials that, in their "natural" state need little maintenance, are resistant to insects and weather and can be recycled at the end of their life-cycle.
The design represented here is just a taste of what's possible when sustainability is incorporated into the design process.