Home Building 2.0 There's Hope for the Future of Homebuilders and Sustainablilty
by Donny Mak
on Monday, April 16th, 2012 at 1:00am.
Hope for Architecture - The Adams House
If you bought a 2,500 square foot home that cost you $400,000, you’ve bought into the American dream at about $160-per-foot. If you‘re in your forties, there’s no way to tell what your home will look like down the road, but you can be assured that by 2052, if the house is still standing, just about everything about your home will have changed or been replaced. Your home may be beautiful and functional, but it was not built to be “sustainable”.
Hope for Architecture - Slab Preperation
Enter Clay Chapman with Hope for Architecture, a builder with a great deal of experience building stables for the well-to-do, rural homeowner and equestrian set. The light bulb went off when he realized that the tenant of the habitats that he built – the horses – can tear apart a wood framed structure with little effort, given their 1000+ pound heft.
He discovered the possibilities in structural masonry, and type of construction wherein brick or stone walls handle the entire weight of the building, not wood framed studs and trusses. In addition, as opposed to wood frame filled with rolled insulation, Chapman lays his four-inch brick components three levels wide – walls that are 12 inch deep, with masonry and solid brick as the material that insulates, and bears the weight of the home.
Hope for Architecture - Ground Breaking
Chapman is working on a remarkable project. It’s a project that will be the subject of a documentary film, as he constructs his “hundred year home” on a 40-acre tract in a rural setting just outside the city of Columbus, Georgia., It’s called the Adam’s House, a 3000 square feet masonry structure coming together brick by brick, to prove the notion that a traditional, structural masonry is an essential part of addressing the three key issues homes and homeowners face: sustainability, energy costs and affordability.
As Chapman puts it, the project is “an attempt to subvert our disposable culture with an act of permanence.”