jump to navigation

New residential project September 20, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in Uncategorized.

We are in the final stages of a 3-story, custom designed, single family home in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is a ‘design-build’ project where Bench Dog Design was responsible for the architectural design and the construction of the home.

The project is a new construction “infill” type where the old abandoned house was deconstructed, all the material was salvaged, and a new house was framed up on the existing basement. The home is on track to be Energy Star Qualified. We actually designed the project to a LEED Gold standard and are projecting up to 50% energy savings. The home is roughly 2,000 SF (including a partially finished basement) and has 3-BR, 2.5 Ba, and a deck off the master suite. There will also be a full green roof with patio and rainwater harvesting system installed this coming fall.

One of the main features in the house is the centrally located “thermal chimney” (also known as a “solar chimney”) which provides passive ventilation for the home most of the year. At the top of the open shaft there are remote controlled motorized skylights that vent open to allow warm air to escape. This feature also provides another important service: it allows natural light to penetrate down into the central areas of the house. The section diagram below shows how it works:

Some of the sustainable features include:

  • Eco-friendly + recycled finishes
  • Reclaimed + FSC certified woods
  • Passive ventilation system
  • High-performance building envelope
  • Daylighting + solar shading
  • Energy-efficient fixtures + system

The house was designed for a landscape architect who desired a strong connection to the outside. This was accomplished with extra-large windows and also by placing the kitchen in the middle of the house and the living room at the back. This allowed us to have full glazing across the back of the house with large sliding glass doors (below).

Another innovative feature of the house is the facade. It is a rainscreen cladding system using both fiber-cement panels and wood planks. This is a ventilated system that allows the facade to “breath” by letting any moisture behind the cladding make it’s way down and allowing air to circulate up…continually “drying out” the building envelope.  The two woods we used for the rainscreens were IPE (Brazilian Walnut) on the front bay (shown at top) and Black Locust on the rear bay (shown above). The main portion of the front facade is clad in high-density, fiber-cement panels and the outside of the front bay is wrapped with Zinc-coated recycled metal panels.

We were able to do numerous custom woodworking items in the house as well. One of the main pieces is a 2-story high wall, clad with reclaimed Heart Pine floor planks (below). This wood, as with all the reclaimed wood used in the project, came from the original house and were salvaged during the demolition process.

Above is the powder room wall-hung vanity constructed of reclaimed floor joists. We integrated a beautiful Duravit sink on top.

We are currently in the process of wrapping up a few other interior projects. These include a custom built-in bookcase (made from reclaimed joists and roof boards), two bartops (made from joists), and a 7’x7′ barn door (made with reclaimed roof boards). We will post some pictures of these as soon as they are installed.


1. A Fan and Brother - September 21, 2010

Smokin design and use of the material as always….BenchDog rocks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: