Project profile: Yin Yang House

Apr 30, 2013

This nearly net-zero energy live/work home and office was designed to function not only as a home and commercial office for both parents, but also as a private home for a large and growing family with several children. It was designed to incorporate sustainable design as a way of teaching a green lifestyle. Passive measures, such as a very tight building envelope, reduce energy demand by more than 50 percent.

On the ground level, the home is organized around a series of courtyards and outdoor spaces that integrate with the interior of the house. From the entry courtyard, the entire space to the rear garden wall can be seen. On the upper floor are the family’s bedrooms, which are intentionally designed to be very small and simple. Every bedroom opens to an adjacent green roof and an exterior deck leading to the rear yard activity space below.

The design maximizes the opportunities of the mild, marine climate with a passive cooling strategy using cross-ventilation and a thermal chimney. A large cantilevered roof overhang shades all the bedrooms from direct sunlight while providing ample natural light and ventilation.
(2013 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects recipient)

AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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