The Open Prototype


"A well-designed home is not a transient entity. It can withstand the trials of time."

We learned about open building earlier; it recognizes that house components and parts age at different rates and need to be serviced or replaced if we are going to get the maximum life out of them, and designs the building so that its systems are all accessible.

A prototype is being built at Unity College in Maine, working with MIT and Bensonwood, a builder covered in our earlier post with experience in open building.


According to the open prototype site, "The result will be a house that reflects the college's environmental commitments and their rural, New England nature: modest, frugal, solid, high quality, appropriate in scale, and in touch with the local climate. Additionally the home will be an integration of leading edge technology in net zero energy use, sustainable materials, controlled building practices, and green principles to create a showpiece of environmental respect."

It will be "designed and fabricated to accommodate centuries of change in technologies, occupancy, and use. These considerations will be expressed in the architecture and detailing, with special attention given to the separation of shell and infill, easily accessible services, and flexible space." ::Open Prototype