The Pacific NW ALU Cottage is an adult living unit to be constructed on a hilly site in Washington State on the coastline along the Hood Canal. This is a small (no more than 1199 square feet due to county restrictions, external, open decking not included in this count) separate dwelling to be used as an adult dependent living unit, and/or guest cottage.
The area receives heavy rains, and strong winds, with predictable heavy snow loads periodically. The area is subject to earthquakes. Must be engineered for the above.
The structure needs to support the needs of elderly people in an open, and easily maintained environment.
The design sought will have 'Pacific NW Long House' influences. It will be built using 'pole building' techniques, so the design will have that restraint. There will be only such concrete as may be necessary for the poles. No footings, no foundations, no basement. All service components for plumbing et cetera can be carried in the floor in an insulated space accessable from below by removing sealed panels. Specify copper plumbing. No central duct work for heating required.
No interior load bearing walls. Lots of well placed windows and french doors for access to deck for the views.
Insulation as a function of design is desired.
Will be able to site for maximal solar gain, though winters here do not provide sufficient light for complete heating so the goal will be to decrease heating costs in Fall and Spring with passive solar gain. Summers can be quite hot, so solar shading will be a necessary feature. Will be seeking a wrap-around porch in any case so that can be used as well.
The heating source, other than solar, will be electric, and a 'rocket mass heater'. These may be examined in Youtube or other on line sources. The owner has experience with these mass heaters in construction and use, and wishes to achieve a 'designed in' look to the heater. A 'warming bench' is required of the design. Urbanite will be the mass used. The mass will not exceed 3 static tons so this needs to be taken into consideration. The electric heat specific needs to be radiant.
Will be using affordability of construction, solar goals, and functional simplicity as our primary criteria, with style expressed as the determining factor.