On Monday, January 11th, we held the first Design Charrette of 2010 to assist future Picacho Mountain residents, Tom and Ann Clark, in the design process for the LEED Certified home they are planning to build this year. A Green Design Charrette is an intensive, hands-on workshop that brings together a future homeowner with green experts and professionals to explore options and create a green and sustainable plan for a specific new custom home and home site.
The Clarks approached us with the desire to build a cutting-edge, sustainable home which will employ the latest in green technology. Their hope is that their green custom home will serve as a model for other New Mexico residents, demonstrating the effectiveness of green products and systems. They will allow the home to be open to the public for a period of time to showcase the benefits of green custom home construction. The home will also demonstrate the benefits of Picacho Mountain’s initiative to preserve as much of the natural landscape surrounding the home as possible.
Attendees for the Clark Green Design Charrette included the Clark (future homeowners), us (as Picacho Mountain developers), the architect, builder, engineer, solar experts, geothermal engineer, home energy rater, lighting consultant, and an HVAC contractor. All of these service providers are experts in their field when it comes to green design and technology.
The topics discussed at the Design Charrette were the orientation of the home on the site, preservation of the natural landscape, solar orientation, basement with a cutting edge geothermal system, location and orientation of solar panels for PV and hot water, design requirements for a zero energy home, HVAC equipment and systems and location of mechanical equipment, building systems like ICF, SIP panels and double stud exterior walls to create thermal break. Some alternatives for heating and cooling were explored and will be discussed further at the next Design Charrette at Picacho Mountain.
During this initial design charrette, the Clarks were able to make an preliminary list of green features they would like to include at their home. At the next charrette meeting we will begin to bring more detail and clarification to the features selected, as well as make a plan for implementation.
A follow up Design Charrette will also include planning for insulation, greywater, rain harvesting and building systems.