A sustainable architect needs to solve for more than would the typical designer. I liken our process to solving the Rubic’s cube – where all the goals, challenges and givens must be in alignment. The typical architect might be solving for the nine squares/side cube, we are solving for the 16 square/side Rubic. Take for instance HEDS-designed RiversEdge House: Good urban design suggested house be sited in alignment with street grid. Classic #PassiveSolar approach would rotate the primary windows toward south and shade with deep overhangs. But the street grid wasn’t on a north-south axis. To solve for both passive solar and urban siting, we angled the front wall toward south while maintaining the overall orientation to that of the street.
This project was designed as part of the RiversEdge community and speculative – we were the developers. We know first-hand that passive solar takes advantage of free energy from the sun at no additional cost to the builder – a win-win solution.