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Optimizing the House on the Hillside

Process—————26 July 2013

Progress continues on Studio Twenty Seven's latest single-family residence. The Hillside House has been an opportunity to explore contrasting desires for both prospect and refuge. Perched on the crest of a gently sloping fold of the Maryland landscape, this residence opens to wide views of distant farmland pastures. The house massing consists of two blocks organized to form an 'L' which delineates the edges of an interior courtyard and a pool. Opposite, a parking court tucks beneath the house. The blocks divide along the public and private needs of the home, with the public face of the home composed of alternating solids and voids, located for specific views beyond the site. The private areas of the home are contained with a window wall system which opens into a foreground of pool deck and courtyard with a middle and background of forest.
Our project team is now immersed in an energy modeling effort to optimize the mechanical system and minimize environmental impact. This is a practice of evaluating the exterior wall systems, roof system, and facade solar orientations. Our experience has shown that in the long run, redirecting construction investment to the exterior building shell upfront can have long-term positive impacts for both life-cycle costs and sustainability.

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