Sustainable by BIM: Two Case Studies
by Carol Richard and James Anwyl
This pair of case studies explores the use of building information modeling (BIM) in small-scale sustainable design projects. —Editor
Ross Street House
by Carol Richard
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Design firm: Richard Wittschiebe Hand
Client: Carol Richard and Fred Berg
The goal of the owners was to design and build a modern, affordable, and sustainable single-family home that would last the couple throughout their retirement years. The owners, an architect and her husband, an engineer, took an integrated design approach to the project. This allowed them to work on the project together, which was another key project goal.
The Ross Street House achieved LEED for Homes Platinum-level certification — the first project to do so in the state of Wisconsin.
The 50-foot- (15-meter-) wide, 130-foot- (40-meter-) deep city lot faces due south and falls off gradually to the rear. It is located on the near-west side of Madison in a modest neighborhood. The undeveloped, infill site was chosen because of its proximity to essential services, parks, and bike paths, and because it is only one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the University of Wisconsin.
The concept of the design is that of a carefully controlled light box, and BIM (ArchiCAD) was extensively used in developing the home from its inception.
Several sun studies informed the development of the brise-soleil on the southern elevation of the home, and guided the form of the building. The louvers are designed to allow the sun to penetrate deep into the house between October and February, while shading the windows from May to August.
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