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Crescendo Design
  • Passive Solar
  • January7th

    1 Comment

    Hybrid Main lg The Hybrid House Concept

    The Hybrid House concept was designed with GreenStar.  It features a comprehensive solar electric (photovoltaic) package, along with displays that will not only track the amount of energy produced, but also the pounds of pollutants avoided.  An Energy Viewer will also provide a real-time readout of the amount of electricity being consumed, which will be networked with several Automated Home technologies, including Ecobee’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat.  These new technologies will enable you to monitor and control your home’s energy consumption in real-time through an online web interface, or by sending you e-mail notifications and text messages.

    Other eco-friendly features will include: recycled content roofing and siding materials; FSC certified framing lumber and flooring; non-toxic AFM Safecoat paints and finishes; Low E, ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors; recycled content drywall; cork, natural stone, wool carpet and recycled content tile flooring; spray foam insulation combined with recycled content, formaldehyde free fiberglass; Amish made cabinets and trim; FSC certified wood interior doors; recycled content countertops; dual-flush water saving toilets; ENERGY STAR qualified lighting; native landscaping; and rain gardens and drainage swales for storm water management.  The home will far exceed the sustainable building and energy standards of the Green Built Home program and will also be a certified Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home.

    Hybrid Main lg1 The Hybrid House Concept

  • January6th

    1 Comment

    2216392969 dd89716e3b The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Nutrihouse Concept

    The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Nutrihouse concept was our entry in the C2C-Home Design Competition.  We were told that it was chosen for construction from over 500 entries submitted, and we recently visited the site in Roanoke.

    Sarah Susanka, jury member of the competition comments: “Dear Jon and Kandy, I’m so delighted to hear that your house design will be built.  I thought it was a wonderful design and one that “normal” folk–read “non-architects”–will really love.  Congratulations, an send me pictures as it goes up, and keep up the good work.  Your illustrations spoke volumes about where your heart is–at least to me–and people will feel this in your architectural creations as well.  That, to me, is what architecture is really all about.  Warmly, Sarah Susanka, FAIA – Not So Big House

    “These young designers have been thrust into the limelight, capturing the attention of the international design community.” The Capital Times – Madison, Wisconsin – 5.12.05 Susan Troller

    “I was delighted to see you both do so well in a field of so many competitors. Keep up the good work!” Bob Greenstreet – Dean, UW-Milwaukee, School of Architecture and Urban Planning

    “Your design ideas are truly inspiring…Best wishes for continued success.” Bruce Shepard – Chancellor, UW-Green Bay

    “Crescendo Design’s ’smart’ house is something to build on.”Sheboygan Press – 5.12.05 Katrina Harrmann

    Here are some excerpts from the C2C-Home website:

    The Cradle to Cradle “Nutrihouse” designed by architects Jon and Kandy Brouchoud, partners of Crescendo Design in Cleveland, Wisconsin, will also be developed. Also in historic Gainsboro, this lot is on Harrison Avenue near 5th Street and it will feature an integrated approach to living in a home that embraces and celebrates nature. This house design implements innovative water management and conservation techniques.  The Nutrihouse has incorporated several strategies that are intended to bring natural systems to the forefront of the occupant’s experience, some of the expected applications are:

    • Graywater irrigations systems with a self-cleaning filter that captures and pressurizes the water, which is then released through a subsurface irrigation system.
    • Graywater sinks will collect graywater for landscape irrigation
    • Wastewater Gardens that are designed to be on-site wastewater treatment of graywater.
    • A green roof will be on a portion of the finished roof.
    • Composting Toilets, which use no water, chemicals, or septic tanks; but rather rely on the natural processes of composting.
    The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority has donated the property to Blue Ridge Housing Development Corporation. Blue Ridge Housing Development Corporation will be constructing the house on Harrison Avenue.
    2216392211 fc6d5b6704 The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Nutrihouse Concept
  • January6th

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    “BUILDING GREEN ON A BUDGET” read full story HERE, and view more slideshow images HERE.

    280012983 b1b34952fc Building Green on a Budget

    This ‘green’ addition to an existing residence takes advantage of solar orientation as well as healthy, non-toxic materials (courtesy of our friends at Healthy Home Reports). Even though the home is located in a close-knit urban neighborhood, this addition affords almost total privacy due to existing trees.

    280014357 b979b0d61e Building Green on a Budget

    The additional is barely visible from the streetside, which helps to maintain the single-story rhythm of the surrounding neighborhood. A solar visor along the south and west windows will block the hot summer sun, yet allow the sun to light and warm the interior spaces in the winter.

    280007571 d1ab45765f Building Green on a Budget

    The addition will provide the owners with a new master suite, and a kitchen (complete with walk-in pantry) that opens into the new living space. The existing living room will be converted into a study space and library. They have shared their story on the Green Built Home website. Click HERE to read more about it (scroll down to “Building Green on a Budget”) and view more slideshow images HERE.

    280009774 2cd4deeb19 Building Green on a Budget

    home17 Building Green on a Budget

  • January6th


    For a slideshow featuring more images of this project, click HERE.

    3027850078 d3c217df04 Passive Solar Farm House: Keep it Simple and Let Nature Help You

    James Kachadorian’s Passive Solar House concept is as close to an ‘open source’ architectural strategy as any.  Originally motivated by the oil crisis of the 70’s, Kachadorian developed a technique for building new homes that incurred no additional construction costs, based on completely conventional materials, including concrete blocks and poured concrete.  As the patents issued on this solar system expired, Kachadorian essentially turned these ideas over to the public, and wrote a book – ‘The Passive Solar House‘ to ‘make that gift more meaningful.’  The home featured here is built upon the ideas found in this book, as well as direct consultation with Kachadorian himself.

    3027849764 bd6d037aea Passive Solar Farm House: Keep it Simple and Let Nature Help You
    This home consists of an existing farm house, almost every inch of which required total reconstruction with careful consideration paid to energy-efficient construction techniques and mechanical systems.  The new addition extending south from this farm house was built using Kachadorian’s passive solar slab technique.

    3027015119 713850375c Passive Solar Farm House: Keep it Simple and Let Nature Help You
    Aesthetically, the intention was to build a home that fit well with the timeless rural character of this region, especially that of the existing farm house.  We did so by extending consistent overall massing, roof lines, window types and siding material from the farm house to the addition.  The two elements are unified by a central gathering/entry core.

     Passive Solar Farm House: Keep it Simple and Let Nature Help You

    Internally, the addition features an open 2-story central space with a wood stove that can radiate heat throughout all of the spaces in the addition.  The tall chimney minimizes creosote build-up and gives the hot chimney pipe a chance to radiate as much heat as possible into the space.  This open central space is flanked on either side by open second story loft spaces that look out over the living room.  These lofts can be completely enclosed by a series of sliding doors reclaimed from the existing farm house.  These open lofts also enable rising heat from the passive solar slab and wood stove to radiate throughout the entire space.

    3027016341 279bb056ab Passive Solar Farm House: Keep it Simple and Let Nature Help You
    Internal ‘thermo-shutters’ are located on each of the south-facing windows in order to retain as much of the warmth absorbed during the cold winter days as possible.  They also help keep the space cool in summer by blocking excessive solar gains.  The size and shape of these windows were calculated based on Kachadorian’s guidelines for optimal daylight admittance throughout the year.  We kept north-facing windows to a minimum, and only installed them in areas that would help offset the need to use artificial lights, enabling further energy savings.

    The home is currently fit with a solar domestic hot water system, with plans to augment the system with a photovoltaic installation in the future.

    In all, this home is not only a model of energy efficiency and passive solar utilization, but fit well with the family’s lifestyle, the architecture of the existing farm house, and the rural vernacular character of this region.

    Built by Thompson Custom Builders.

    For a slideshow featuring more images of this project, click HERE.