On the Boards: Iowa Home

July 5th, 2006 by Peter Schmelzer

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As long as I’m blogging on unbuilt work: We’ve also been designing a home for a couple who are moving to southeastern Iowa. It’s an interesting project since she is in Indiana at their current home and he is working in Minneapolis right now. The combination of our 3D computer modeling and online collaboration software makes it possible to share ideas, thoughts and concerns across great distances. For longer-term review, we have e-mailed PDF’s of the concepts. Technology has certainly opened a wide range of collaboration possibilities, including a virtually paper-free collaboration!

Last week, we finalized the schematic design via a three-way online meeting, then sent out documents to their contractor for a price check. Upon approval, we will proceed with construction documentation.

So, what about the house?

It is an interpretation of the Prairie Style, at our clients’ request. Strong horizontal lines and authentic materials are its mainstay. The main floor master suite offers views across the lake to the southeast, affording privacy to the suite while sharing views and solar access with the Great Room. The Great Room will be open and airy, capitalizing on selected views through the home. The kitchen is the hub of the home, with quick access to the office, laundry, dining, and family room. Fireplaces will grace both the sitting room and the family room.

Four additional bedrooms on the walk-out level will look southwest across the lake. They share two bathrooms and access to the lake through a game room. The southeast end of the basement will be a spacious storage room for patio furniture, seasonal equipment and a boat on its trailer.

In terms of energy efficiency, we have oriented the building to receive maximum solar gain in the winter months while responding to the topography to minimize earth work. The overhangs are calculated to block out the high summer sun but to allow the lower winter rays into the home. A geothermal heat pump will provide very efficient heating and cooling.

If all goes as planned, construction will begin this fall.

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