This LEED Platinum Certified House is the latest example of Studio 804’s mission to build creative sustainable housing in established, but marginal urban neighborhoods. Many of which are being revitalized by the growing interest in housing with easy access to the public amenities that are part of a healthy, centralized community. This project is convenient to the vibrant cultural district of downtown Lawrence and to the public transportation system and the bike trails that link the town. It is three blocks from the East Lawrence Recreation Center which offers a wide variety of services and adjacent to Brook Creek Park and its open green spaces, playgrounds and large mature trees.
The project includes the 1500 sf 3 bedroom primary house but also a 400 sf studio accessory dwelling that can be used for and extended family member, Airbnb or rental income. The buildings were designed to minimizes energy consumption and solar panels on the roof generate enough electricity to operate the house at net zero energy use over a calendar year.
This LEED Platinum Certified House is modern, open, and flexible. Both the 1550 sf house and the 500 sf accessory dwellings are fully accessible and features a smart home system where the residents will have the potential to control the lights, window shades, and thermostat from one unit or an app on a phone.
The east side of the house is unobstructed glazing to fill the house with natural light and to open to the second largest Burr Oak in the state of Kansas. The other elevations are finished with glass secured to the outside of insulated metal panels to create a continuous glass box. The south elevation is finished with fritted glass that blocks 80 percent of the sun but let day light enter the living room.
The defining sustainable feature on this house that stands out from the others is the management and conservation of water. Low flow faucets, shower heads, and toilets were utilized to greatly reduce the amount of water consumed by the homeowner. All but one of the fixtures are water sense rated and an energy-star rated heat pump water heater greatly reduces the amount of energy and water used throughout the project. Fixtures are also minimally distanced from the water heaters to reduce heat loss.
All storm water is managed on site. It is collected from the rooftops and runs through underground pipes that flow into Kansas native plantings that reduce maintenance and water needs. A pervious driveway made of re-cycled crushed concrete allows the water to be absorbed into the subsurface on site.
The property is located entirely in a flood plain. A custom designed pervious retaining wall was welded out of steel grating to avoid blocking the water flow in a catastrophic event and to meet FEMA requirements. Keeping the primary house elevated above the mean base elevation but still accessible was a challenge met with a ramp from a concrete pad on the edge of the drive up into the house which necessitated that the driveway be elevated and supported with the retaining wall.
The buildings are floating, modern glass boxes that not only respond to the surrounding environment but use the available natural features to create a water conserving, energy efficient, and USGBC confirmed LEED Platinum project. In keeping with Studio 804 tradition, it utilizes re-purposed materials and incorporates new and advanced building technologies targeting sustainable goals. This LEED Platinum Certified House hosts an array of 18 solar panels and is designed to target net zero energy use.