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Raudzens Residence

Paradise Valley, Arizona

The design of this home arises from a holistic process of correlating natural air flows and water flows across the site, with solar path, topography, views, spatial sequence and relationship, and building systems.  The sweeping building form opens to morning sun and flow through natural ventilation, and rises up to capture mountain views while sheltering from the summer midday sun.  The private wing shields the house from street noise and views, while the living wing opens to the adjacent desert wash and existing mature trees of the backyard. The form engenders a sense of spaciousness and flow, while separating uses and creating subtle but clear boundaries between public and private spaces.

The primary building systems include Integra super-insulated concrete masonry with 25% fly-ash content and bio-based polyurethane insulation, SABS all-foam stressed-skin walls, engineered wood roof structure, and recycled metal roofing.  Passive energy efficiency strategies include day-long daylighting design, cross and stack natural ventilation, centrally controlled operable windows, solar air heaters and ventilators, “living wall” microclimate mitigation, and super-insulated fiberglass windows/glazing, walls and roofs.   In addition to the passive energy strategies, the project will also include a host of active energy systems, including thermal storage systems, high-performance water-pre-cooled compression cooling and solar-assisted heating system, zoned air-distribution system, and a heat recovery ventilator system.  The home will also use a computerized energy, water, carbon and IAQ (indoor air quality) monitoring and home automation system, accessible in the home and from the Web.  Water-efficiency will be from permaculture and rainwater harvesting designed and integrated site topography, landscape and house form, graywater harvesting and reuse, ultra-low flow/use fixtures and appliances, and centrally displayed whole house water metering.  Materials and finishes will be radically minimized, and when used will include stained finished concrete floors throughout, ultra-low VOC paints and coatings, non-wood cabinetry, recycled-content countertops, content recycled from existing house deconstruction, recycled steel finishes, and recycled content tiles and rugs.