Nice Shades: Michelle Kaufmann's Latest Prefab Has Overhangs, Brise Soleil and Shutters

© Michelle Kaufmann

I find it fascinating that Michelle Kaufmann posts on her latest lovely prefab and comments on all of its green virtues:

The home produces its own energy through PV panels, and is designed with super efficient systems to reduce the amount of energy and water required. Through the use of things like radiant flooring, spray in high performance insulation, dual-pane glazing, high efficiency cooling systems, the home exceeds California’s Title 24 compliance requirements by 30%....The siding is FSC certified clear cedar with cement board accents. The flooring is strand woven bamboo, the cabinetry is also FSC certified and interior finishes were chosen for no and low VOCs.

But she doesn't mention the one that pops right out at me as being so unusual these days, and so well done here: the extensive and varied methods of shading the house, of keeping the heat out before it gets in instead of paying to remove it after. Note the extensive roof overhang on the clerestories and her trademark sliding shutters that can cover the glass doors.

© Michelle Kaufmann

It also has an extensive brise soliel (French for sun-breaker) on the other side. This is all particularly thoughtful on a prefab, because they have to be installed on site instead of in the factory.

© Michelle Kaufmann

As I noted in my post Nice Shades: Tips From The Pros On How To Keep The Heat Out, shutters are the most wonderful, sophisticated invention; they provide shade from the sun, protection in storms, security both while allowing fresh air circulation when the door is open, and when the owner is away from home. Their use is a lost art, both by designers and homeowners.

© Michelle Kaufmann

Michelle is a modest person, and I understand why she would say "it has radiant floors and high efficiency cooling systems" instead of "I designed this really well in the first place to minimize the need for heating and cooling." But she did, and it is an inspiring example of how one can use old tricks in new ways. She and I both have the same last words: Love it.

More at Michelle Kaufmann Studio

Follow me on Twitter and Friend me on Facebook

Tags: Architects | California | Green Building