So many architects get their start on either their own or their parent's houses. If you live in Manhattan, your chances of getting to do a house from the ground up are pretty slim. Lynne Gaffney is concerned about issues of economy, sustainability and privacy, and probably fully understands the issues of second homes, but decided to keep renting in New York and to build in Connecticut. The house is made from Structural Insulated Panels (SIP's) about which her builder says "The SIPs are built quicker and better than they could be on-site because they are made in a controlled environment. People aren't trying to build these in the cold, the rain and the mud. It makes the building happen much faster. The pieces arrive dry and ready to put up," The house also has radiant floors in concrete or bamboo, raw plaster walls (no VOCs) Ice stone counters and heat recovery ventilation. Materials were chosen for durability: "If something is good for the environment, but you have to replace it every few years, that creates a lot of waste and negates the benefit"
From the architect's website:
After being frustrated by the NYC co-op market, an architect and her husband opt to remain urban renters and build a weekend house in Litchfield County, CT. The concept is economy and sustainability for this 2,000 SF home on an 8.5 acre wooded site adjacent to wetlands. The house is tightly planned within its prefab building composition of structurally insulated panels.
The street facade folds down from the roof and refers to neighboring clapboard houses in proportion and privacy as well as the agricultural shed. This standing seam metal clad form wraps the prefab panels or fins that divide, join, and organize the domestic activities of the home.
::Lynne Gaffney Architect via ::Litchfield County Times