and Energy-Efficient Housing Development·
This project was in response
to a design competition put forth by the City
of Novato for 30 units of affordable and energy-efficient
housing. The competition's stated purpose
was to encourage innovations in energy efficiency.
We (the firm name at that time was Beeler and
Bluhm with Robert Bluhm as a partner) responded
with the innovative residential use of tilt-up
concrete walls between the row house units.
This fine example of integrated
design provided thermal mass for passive solar
heating and night time cooling, fire separation
and acoustical isolation. Another innovation was
the low cost solar-assisted district heating.
A central solar system provided hot water for
radiant heating and domestic hot water more efficiently
and at lower costs and using less resources than
providing 30 furnaces and 30 water heaters! The
attached graph shows just the efficiency of this
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