This episode of the BS* + Beer show features architect Greg Fisher with Enrico Bonilauri and Mariana Pickering, co-founders of Emu Systems, discussing Millhaus—a collaborative Passive House project and Greg’s personal home/office. Once a cherry mill, the 3200-sq-ft. gabled structure was a “design-driven” undertaking striking for its smooth blend of traditional forms and modern materiality. Greg’s approach was based on his philosophy that “aesthetics can be part of Passive House.” As one of Emu’s pilot projects, it demonstrates the viability of their mission. The team explains how “the envelope becomes the product,” getting into the many construction details that make the house unique and lesson-rich for builders and designers alike. The presentation includes a look at: how they handled the thermal breaks for the foundation stem walls and structural steel beams; the timing of adding a continuous air/vapor barrier; the rainscreen and reason for installing felt paper behind the courses of bark siding; the insulated thresholds, which Greg says was the biggest challenge of the entire project; the aluminum window sills fitted with expanding foam; and the coordination of ventilation, lighting, and framing, among other details. They also share their ideas on geothermal energy, life-cycle assessment, and the integrated design process.
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Join us on Thursday, December 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. EST when we host Lloyd Alter, Kyle Macht, June Donenfeld, and Sean McStay for a book club discussion of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity by Joseph G. Allen and John D. Macomber. The authors make a convincing case for financial investment in buildings that support human health—because it boosts the bottom line. Their argument: “As a society, we are wasting money on bad buildings . . . the air in our buildings makes us sick and saps our productivity. . . . But new quantitative research shows . . . that our cognitive abilities, health, productivity, and well-being are directly impacted by decisions in the engineering, operations, and running of our buildings.” This book is garnering a lot of attention in the green building industry. It provides compelling case studies that just might convince some real estate developers and building operation managers that green is the way to go.
Lloyd Alter is design editor for the Treehugger.com and has contributed to the Guardian, Azure magazine, and did book reviews for Corporate Knights magazine. Previously, he practiced as an architect and real estate developer in Toronto, Canada. He teaches sustainable design at the Ryerson University Faculty of Arts and Design. He is putting the finishing touches on a book, “Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle,” out in 2021 from New Society Publishers. He never goes out without his Plume Flow air quality monitor.
Sean McStay is host of “Better Construction,” a podcast and YouTube channel where design and construction techniques, products, and the business of construction is discussed. Sean uses insight from his career in sales, marketing, and management within the building materials sector to interview industry professionals that include architects, contractors, and engineers. He provides a platform for audience members to learn about new and innovative products from high-performance construction industry professionals.
Kyle Macht is a Certified Passive House Consultant at Macht Architecture. Kyle originally worked for Paul Macht Architects over the summers, while studying architectural engineering at Pennsylvania State University. After graduating, Kyle worked for a green design/build firm that also specialized in energy consulting. Kyle started as an energy consultant for commercial buildings and new homes after which he transitioned to the lead residential designer, while also managing the construction of several projects. Kyle rejoined Paul to create Macht Architecture in 2015, something they have talked about ever since Kyle originally worked with Paul.
June Donenfeld is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach with special interests in green building, social entrepreneurship, education, and design. In previous lives, she’s also worked as a program officer for the United States-Japan Foundation in New York, an editor and writer for the International Language and Culture Center in Tokyo, a financial analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York, a cross-cultural trainer in Osaka, and a senior researcher for a Japanese governmental agency in San Francisco. She has also served as a board member of Yokohama International School and a community leader at the International School of Paris. She holds a BA from Oberlin College, an MA from Stanford University, and has completed programs of study at the Sorbonne in Paris and Middlebury College in Vermont.
-You can contact Kiley Jacques at [email protected].