Things you can and cannot see – A self-powered house by Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa Ying Yang House

Brooks + Scarpa Ying Yang House

Brooks + Scarpa Ying Yang House

From looking at pictures of this house in Venice, it’s easy to see a modern and serene attitude designed into this project by architects Brooks + Scarpa. You might even notice the building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels incorporated into the shading structure that cantilevers from the second floor and correctly guess that the project is interested in generating some of its own energy. But this project does more than generate some of its own energy, it generates all of its own energy by taking advantage of the plentiful sunlight that bakes southern California.

What you can’t see from looking at the pictures of the project are some of the other strategies that helped the house reduce its energy consumption: radiant floor heating, blown-in cellulose insulation, natural ventilation and “a host of other sustainable factors” hiding under the environmentally-friendly finishes.  I was interested in looking at a plan of the project to see how the architects managed the space in the acute angle adjacent to the stairs (answer: closet on one floor, mechanical room on the other) when, to my delight, I found a site plan with a wind rose for both January and June. What is a wind rose? It’s a rarely-seen flora cultivated by environmental engineers that indicates prevailing wind direction and speed for a given time period. Usually wind roses die in architecture offices, so it’s amusing to see one on a site plan that supports the claims of natural ventilation.

Found through Arthitectural

Alex Dent

March 13, 2012 / By