The Monaghan-O’Rourke home is modern mountain architecture with an environmental flourish. It was designed in the style of the new cabin architecture and built with sustainability at its core. The building form, roof lines and materials create a contemporary visual appeal. The orientation, south facing glazing and insulated, thermal mass construction create a passive solar home with exceptional efficiency and comfort.
The floor plan is organized around the boxes that separate the functions of the house. The main living space (Kitchen, Living & Dining rooms), Master Bedroom, Bedroom and Utility space (including a bathroom) are each contained in their own structural component. The circulation space that connects these diverse elements serves as the main street through the house and is delineated by the use of weathering steel on the exterior. A studio is the only room on the upper floor, thus creating a tower component to the mass of the building and additional help in ventilating the interior by the stack effect. The garage/workshop is a physically separate element which creates in inner courtyard for a private outdoor space. The main entry is through a Japanese inspired gate that leads first into the courtyard and then proceeds along a covered walk before entering the structure proper.
Exterior walls are constructed using the TridiPanel system. The result is a well insulated, tightly constructed thermal mass wall 8” thick. Besides being an important element in an energy saving design the wall is also fire and water damage resistant. Domestic hot water is supplied by a solar panel that doubles as a sun shading device for the studio on the upper floor. A trombe wall supplies solar heated air to the utility space and the studio above and provides ventilation for cooling during the summer. The roof system is designed with exposed beams and structurally insulated panels (SIPs) for superior insulation. Hydronic radiant floor heat is used throughout the house.