Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
H4 in Milford, Connecticut by BRIO54 Architects
February 25th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
With the BRIO54_H4 product line we set out to design a modern green home type that is well-suited to typical small and narrow shoreline lots and offers a clean functional layout, bright open spaces while adhering to a very tight budget.
In order to offer better views and provide adequate security as well as flood resistance, the public spaces, such as the living and dining areas as well as the kitchen have been elevated and are located above the carport, storage, and utility room. The public spaces feature an open, yet intimate floor plan and with their large built-in serving areas and seating capacity for 35 people are ideal for entertaining.
Important exterior design elements of the H4, aside from the Florentine stripes, are the front and rear balconies with their recessed sliding glass door walls and the exposed galvanized steel frame, which forms the large carport.
The overall energy performance of the H4 has been tested and rated according to the DOE Energy Smart Home Scale, short E-scale. The H4 prototype has received a score of 49, which means that it is 51% more energy efficient than the average new home currently built in the United States. This score is due to a very tight and highly insulated building envelope, a high-efficiency heating, cooling, and ventilation system, a high efficiency instant water heater, ENERGY STAR rated appliances, WaterSense rated fixtures, as well as dimmer switches and occupancy sensors. In addition, each room offers natural cross-ventilation in order to utilize the prevalent shoreline breeze, further reducing utility costs during the interim seasons.
Aside from energy efficiency it is also important to us to delivery high indoor air quality. This is achieved through an HRV-based ventilation system that ensures low humidity levels in the heating season in order to prevent condensation and the associated growth of mold and mildew. Our custom built-in cabinetry uses PureBond plywood, which features soy-based, formaldehyde-free adhesives. All finishes and paints are water-based and low emitting.
The H4 delivers a comprehensive lifestyle brand down to the smallest detail; each component is carefully crafted in order to reinforce the overall design intent, an attention to detail usually limited to the high-end segment of the residential market. The built-in cabinetry is custom designed and fabricated specifically for the H4 product line. Baseboards and casings are flush, wall plates for switches and outlets are snap-on and screwless. The hardwood floor and cabinetry finishes with a sheen value as low as unfinished wood further reinforce the unique, natural, warm, yet modern character of the design.