The zeitgeist for the last few years has been all about doing what’s right for the environment. From organic food to carbon taxes, its become all encompassing. We all take part of in it in some way or another, whether through recycling or through buying local produce. But there are the rare few of us, the freegans and the fruitarians, who go the extra mile.
Caretaker’s House is no doubt the freegan version of a architectural buffet. It was made exclusively from timber felled on sight. Not only was the construction super eco-friendly, but it has also been insulated to passivehaus standards. Quite an impressive feat when one considers how much technology goes into creating these super energy efficient buildings. The Architectural Association commissioned Invisible Studio to develop the house from a student concept design. Caretaker’s House is made from larch, cedar, poplar, douglas fir and spruce, all felled on site. The building’s insulation and heating also come from the same timber. Despite being made from uncured wood, the building complies to passivehaus standards of airtightness. Caretaker’s House sits on steel piles and so no wet trades were employed in its construction. As with any environmentally sound building built in the northern hemisphere, Caretaker’s House’s north-facing wall provides insulation with the south facing façade open to sunlight. A veranda on this side acts as an extension to the open plan living/kitchen area on the first floor. A stairway leads to second floor bedroom.
The timber used in this building really looks beautiful and fresh, and with age will only get better. Caretaker’s House is not an ugly, purely functional building. Instead, by conforming to passivehaus conventions, its form becomes a beautiful representation of utility.