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Better Know an L|F Project: Leon Springs

Leon Springs is a residence for a professional couple who wanted their last home to achieve the highest level of energy and water efficiency. Our clients wanted a sustainable home that used local durable materials and efficient systems, had healthy indoor air quality, and allowed them to connect on a deeper level with nature.  There are 3 main forms that combine to create several outdoor spaces where the clients enjoy morning coffee, outdoor meals, and relaxation. The home sits lightly on a sloped site, taking advantage of great views and solar orientation. The roofs slope with the site, creating a low profile and allowing rainwater to naturally feed the home’s 17,000 gallon collection system. Answers by Jennifer Young & Karla Greer: Completed in 2010 LEED Platinum Certification LF Scope: SD, DD, CD, CA The Story:  The Leon Springs clients wanted a sustainable home and were willing to invest in active systems to enable their home to be net zero. Our charge was to find a balance between passive and active systems, and to choose the most efficient and cost effective systems to meet their goals, all the while keeping the overall comfort and design of the home a priority. Sustainable Strategies Implemented:
  • The incorporation of daylight and cross ventilation within all interior spaces to reduce the need of mechanical systems.
  • A 12 kilowatt-hour photovoltaic array to produce electricity.
  • A ground source heat pump to provide efficient heating and cooling, as well as domestic hot water.
  • A variety of regional / low embodied energy materials: locally quarried Leuders limestone, mesquite flooring, FSC plywood, and fly-ash concrete.
  • High performance windows.
  • Rainwater collection to provide all of the home’s potable water needs.
Favorite Detail: Karla: the system for bolted connections that we detailed that allowed the entire steel structure at the carport, arbor and porch to be bolted together (not welded) in very little time. Jennifer: The bolted channel and wood columns (different than Karla’s but still bolted) that eliminated thermal bridging throughout the conditioned spaces. Interesting Material: Mesquite End Block Floor and FSC/NAUF plywood. If you could change one thing . . . Jennifer:  I would have done something different with the metal storage cistern and perhaps chosen the Pioneer metal rainwater cistern had I been better able to foresee the final outcome of these components.  Also, the coordination of switch plates within the stone wall to be better integrated is something that I will add to my detail list in the future.
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