Whitney Sander, principal architect of Sander Architects, has developed new concepts for the development of residential projects that are both ecological and economical. He labeled his concept the ‘Hybrid House’ since it would be partially prefabricated and then customized to suit the requirements of individual clients.
Residence for a Briard is a 3,800sf house that is the first example of Hybrid House, the invention of Sander Architects, LLC. Its structural frames and exterior walls and roof are all prefabricated off-site by warehouse manufacturers and shipped to the site in pieces on one flat-bed truck. The entire shell cost $22,000.
All photographs as: © Claudio Santini Photography
The pieces are then bolted together like an erector within a three weeks time span. Once the shell is complete, the interior walls, systems and finishes are completed using the traditional construction methods. The resulting Hybrid House is therefore custom designed for the client, the site, and local codes, but at a fraction of standard construction cost.
The warehouse frames have a relatively large scale, which leads to a spacious interior space. Residence for a Briard has 28’ ceilings in the great room.
Designed for the President-Emeritus of the Architectural Foundation of Los Angeles, which promotes excellence in modern architecture in the greater Los Angeles area, this house needed to be of great design quality.
The dominant southern facade, for example, which evolved during many hours of discussions of the arts and painting. It derives its inspiration from a painting of a violin by Braque ("Aria of Bach,' 1913). Quite appropriate since the client is also a music critic. He requested for the house to be fit occasional events where string quartets would come and play for a small audience. The house includes a great room surrounded by a suspended balcony. The long side of this balcony is a shallow stairway with long treads that are wide enough for two chairs side-by-side facing the performance area below. Beyond that potential performance stage is a flat, large landing where additional chairs can be placed. The handrails for both these areas are transparent glass, with grasses laminated into the glass below eye level.
The home makes extensive use of ecological/sustainable materials, systems and strategies, making the house a green residence. Here are some of the simple, yet efficient strategies that were adopted:
- Site location: Proximity to public transportation + all basic amenities within walking distance
- Site orientation maximizes passive heating and cooling
- Extensive glazing maximizes natural day lighting
- Multi-cell acrylic panels (with high R-value) for glazing reduces heat loss/gain
- Super-insulated building minimizes energy requirements to heat/cool.
- Recycled steel framing reduces overall building cost / reduces amount of steel
- Grey water system for landscape irrigation.
- Low-water / xeriscape landscaping and plants
- Bamboo flooring
- Sustainable kitchen / bathroom cabinetry
- Stained concrete floors: original concrete slab (fewer materials used)
- On-demand water heater
- Radiant heat connected to on-demand hot water heater
- Recycled steel framing
- Recycled denim insulation
- Eco-resin panels
- Low-flush toilets
- Linoleum flooring and wall covering in bathrooms
- Low VOC paint
- Energy star appliances
- Fluorescent light fixtures w/ programmable dimmers