About the LESS impact HOUSETM
A New Approach
The LESS impact HOUSE gets its name directly from our goal of making the least amount of impact in building a new home. This means not only are we concerned about environmentally conscious products but also where they come from. Are we supporting our local economy as much as possible? Is there a similar product available within a shorter distance? etc. We also consider designing and specifying materials specifically for our climate, the Sonoran desert, a guiding factor. The owners also want this project to serve as a public example and will open their door to educators, politicians, designers, and others who wish to use the space to further the LESS impact HOUSE philosophies.
The house has a 3.4 KW photovoltaic system with a battery back up and collects 20,000 gallons [out of a possible 34,000 gallons!] of rain water a year. The cistern systems filter and purify this water for household use. Imagine showering in rainwater... Then the greywater system takes used water to the landscape.
The exterior walls of the house are a masonry material called AAC block. In tests where an AAC block wall was painted black on one side the temperature difference was over 140 degrees while the inside never transitioned above 80 degrees. It is lightweight, makes good carbon use of a typically costly material [concrete], and finishes beautifully.
The house is sleek and modern. We avoided wasting space to get the smallest footprint possible. The main living area will be stunning - one single volume with a 10' ceiling at the entrance to an impressive 17' ceiling height at the outdoor living area. This volume terminates to the east with a glass wall [completely shaded by a roof overhang] which opens and pockets, creating a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor space
Home owner Debbie, spends
eight months cleaning cement
from red bricks--from the original
home. The bricks are
re-used in the wine cellar.
less impact house uses Green Strategies to address Sonoran Desert concerns of water conservation, an extremely hot climate, plus global concerns of alternative energy, and carbon footprint.
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