Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Sauna in the Woods

Posted on April 29th, 2010 by

The steep, virgin timber site presented complicated issues. All the excavation had to be done by hand with shovels. Rocks, dirt and tree roots were wheel barrowed to final destination to save the surrounding trees and native vegetation. The concrete truck had to put concrete into the bucket of a bobcat to bring up the back driveway. The plumbing, gas, and electrical lines had to be placed in a ditch from the main home to the Sauna which took lots more hand digging! The water lines were wrapped in heat tape to prevent freezing.

The doors on the south side of the Sauna are to the mechanical equipment room, housing the boiler for hot water and radiant heating which was installed in the slab. Radiant heating in the floors provides an even, quiet, warm feeling heat. The little building is thoroughly insulated and has white pine on the interior walls and rough cedar exterior siding to match the main home. The operable windows are Marvin triple hung which allows a large opening for summer ventilation.

The Sauna itself is a kit that was installed inside the building. There is a shower, a small sink and dressing area which can be closed off with a custom rolling door with barn door hardware. The warm burnt umber tile in the shower with dark grey accent is repeated with the accent in the floor slate tile in the sauna area. The relaxation area has cork flooring. The entry door on the north has a stoop using stained 1 x 4’s and 2 x 4’s bolted & glued vertically leaving voids where water, ice, & snow can fall through.  The owner has his sheep skin recliners with foot rests, TV, phone, books, and snack food in his Sauna Haus sitting area.

Besides being a place of retreat for our Swedish client, the rest of the family has parties there! Their 2 teenage daughters have entertained their friends with the sauna. Their yoga coaches have taught sessions in the sauna.

Design Build Team Member: Garret Wilson

Posted on April 29th, 2010 by

Garret Wilson

“Garret achieved a Masters of Architecture from KU and joined DBT in 2009 where he now divides his time between drafting and carpentry. He maintains a strong relationship with sustainable design and is more than willing to chat with anyone about his favorite topic.”

AIA: Top Ten Green Buildings of 2010

Posted on April 29th, 2010 by

This week, the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment announced the Top Ten Green Projects completed in the past year.  In its 14th year, this program celebrates sustainable buildings from all over the world.  Below are our favorites from the list, for a complete list of ten click here.

Watsonville Water Resource Center
Location: Watsonville, CA

Description from AIA: The Water Resources Center is a functional, educational, and visual extension of the water recycling plant it supports. The new 16,000 square foot building consolidates three different city and county water departments into a workspace that allows for thoughtful and continuous collaboration on issues of water management, conservation, and quality in the Pajaro Valley. The building, its systems, and its landscape will serve to educate the public through exhibitions and guided tours.

Twelve West
Location: Portland, OR

Description from AIA: Rising 23 stories above the intersection of Twelfth and Washington streets in Southwest Portland, Oregon, Twelve|West is a mixed-use building designed with sustainability and ongoing learning as integral goals. The building includes street-level retail space, four floors of office space leased to a national architectural firm, 17 floors of apartments, and five levels of below-grade parking along with three roof-level terraces and gardens.  The site was chosen because of the central, transit-rich location and because of the potential to help connect these different districts and inspire further dense development in Portland’s urban core.

Special No. 9 House
Location: New Orleans, LA

Description from AIA: The Special No. 9 House was designed for the Make It Right Foundation to provide storm-resistant, affordable, and sustainable housing options for the residents of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Local off-site fabrication has the benefit of helping attain economic sustainability in the region.  The Special No. 9 House achieved a LEED Platinum rating with this approach.