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Floe-Baertsch Residence

Wickenburg, Arizona

This home is designed to make the most advantage of its location along a ridge on the owners’ property.  An arc of distant views surrounds the site to the southeast, south and southwest, with less optimal views in the foreground.  So the house perches atop the ridge with patios reaching to the south and west, allowing for panoramic distant views and shielding from the less optimal views in the foreground.  The form of the house, aligned to the ridge while rising along it to the south, with deep patios to south and west, minimizes excavation while opening to the southern winter sun and sheltering from the summer sun, and optimizing cross ventilation across the ridge.  Spaces along the west have minimal openings, but rather open tangentially to the south and north toward views up and down the ridge.  Clerestory windows to the east allow in precise morning light, while allowing for natural stack ventilation.  Expansive metal roofs are designed to accommodate future solar systems.

The main building system for the project is the all-foam, stressed skin Strata SABS system, providing R-40 walls and R-60 roof, thereby acting as structure, finish and insulation, all in one system.  Other building systems include ICF (insulated concrete form) retaining walls, and steel stud interior walls, recycled metal roofing and fascias, and a recycled steel shade trellis.  Energy systems and elements include highly-insulated fiberglass windows and doors, a heat recovery ventilator system, a high-performance multi-speed heat pump, thermal flywheel finished concrete slab, and all ductwork inside the thermal envelope.  Water efficiency is through low-flow plumbing fixtures and appliances, graywater two-piping, rainwater harvesting roof design, design for minimal disturbance of existing native desert vegetation and native re-vegetation after construction.  Other materials include ultra-low VOC paints and finishes, reduced wood content alternative material cabinets, and ultra-low maintenance exterior and interior surfaces on the SABS walls.