Efficient Architecture Suggests a New Future for Design

Why is something effective? Merriam-Webster defines “effective” as “effective without waste” Apple’s senior vice president of design, Jonathan Ive, applied the idea of efficacy to layout when he sought to eliminate anything that was not absolutely necessary.

The notion of an efficient home has increased in popularity during the past ten years, largely in the context of energy efficiency. But, energy is only one important part of a home’s efficiency. The near-collapse of the economy has caused many prospective homeowners to rethink what’s essential, weeding out the unnecessary and creating the potential for a fresh design aesthetic.

Listed below are several examples of efficacy that impacts all facets of layout, including attractiveness and price.

Prefab constructionhas been around for quite some time. The efficacy of a factory-built product is attractive for many reasons, and architects have latched onto this notion, creating a batch of attractively designed and well-thought-out houses.

The Breezehouse, shown here, made by architect Michelle Kaufmann and built by Blu Homes, is a supreme example of this building method.

Marmol Radziner

Marmol Radziner is another leader in the community. His prototype for a desert condition is envisioned here.

Although prefab homes may be model in building efficiency, it’s essential to note that they are not necessarily price efficient. The expense of a prefab home can vary based on the location, site requirements, architect and other aspects. However, this likely matters little for people who judge the significance of the building method within the price.

Q & A: How to make prefab work for all

Before Photo

Spry Architecture

I recently had a meeting with a general contractor, a framer and a structural engineer. I posed the question, “What’s the most cost-efficient approach to construct a home?” The general contractor said, “Utilizing the exact same construction methods as a tract house.” I cringed at the words “tract house” but instantly saw his stage; the most cost-efficient structure method is still 2-by-6 walls with floor and roof trusses, as revealed in this image.

Before Photo

Employing the building methods of a tract house need not create a dull or unoriginal cosmetic. The preceding image is that the skeleton of the home under construction here. The walls are normal 2-by-6 structure, and the roof is built from trusses, permitting an easier path for all of the systems.

The structural members of a home can be constructed in any kind, interesting or not, similar to a job built with Legos.

Bloated square footage often equates to lots of materials (cost inefficient) and too much space (energy inefficient), as big pockets of the home will be underused but air conditioned or heated. Maybe on account of the economy, homeowners are rethinking the McMansion and looking for additional minimal-size houses.

This plan is slightly less than 1,300 square feet with 2 bedrooms and extraordinary views of the desert landscape. The outdoor area expands the livable area of the home.

Izumi Tanaka Photography

Homes need not parallel the scale of a Gothic cathedral, nor should smaller spaces have been considered claustrophobic. Twenty-four-foot tall ceilings tend to make additional echoes than spatial intimacy.

This space comprises a kitchen, a dining area and a living space. A well-conceived open plan which eliminates superfluous space may be the most effective ingredient of a gorgeous home.

Floisand Studio

Finishes are the great budget buster in many home projects. It is essential that you as a homeowner to recognize that this is a place entirely under your control. You can store and negotiate for deals, or you can overspend.

Companies like Ikea (see this kitchen) have benefited homeowners by providing cost-efficient home finishing alternatives and creating more competition.

Klopf Architecture

Before the era of the McMansion was the age of case study houses of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. Commissioned from Arts & Architecture magazine, the case study houses were models of spatial efficacy. Minimally designed with conventional construction, the houses still remain timeless. Many, like this Eichler home, are being restored today.

Klopf Architecture

To be clear, the case study houses weren’t models for energy efficiency. In most parts of the USA, they couldn’t be built today without adapting some basic items, such as roofing insulation. That said, the case study houses remain models for easy use of materials and gorgeous space.

The current downturn has changed structure, architecture and design, perhaps irrevocably. Rethinking home needs has induced us to divide our wants and our needs and, ideally, can help us develop a more meaningful architecture and effective lifestyle.

More: Back into the Future of the House

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