Connection to Place
While inside the BLOCK you feel as if you are connected to the surrounding landscape. The large South facing window provides protection but connects you with the living world. In addition to the connection with the exterior environment the grain of the natural plywood finish of the interior surfaces and millwork create a biophilic connection to the Pacific Northwest.
Net Positive Energy
The BLOCK home is designed with passive conditioning in mind. A large window and glass door, which provide more than ample natural lighting, are both South facing and recessed behind large eves which cut off harsh summer sun but allow the home to be passively warmed during the cooler months. This, in conjunction with continuous exterior insulation and fully insulated wall cavities, minimize the need for mechanical conditioning. Additional electrical demands are reduced by the use of high efficiency lighting. Photovoltaics on the roof generate more energy than the small demand created by the home, thus making it energy net-positive.
Net Positive Water
The water demand for this home is reduced by the use of ultra-low flow fixtures. It was outfitted with a composting toilet which eliminated the need for the conveyance of black water to municipal waste treatment systems. In addition, roof water is harvested to irrigate the surrounding landscape.
The BLOCK Project doesn’t just provide roofs over heads but invites individuals into neighborhoods creating connection to a community. While the value of creating physical shelter cannot be overstated, the true value comes in introducing the home’s occupants to loving neighbors that can become a part of their lives.
In addition to being healthy for the environment, the home is healthy for the occupants as it was guided by Living Building standards for eliminating the use of Red List materials. Nexus employees padded their expertise in design of healthy interiors as they played the role of contractor and sourced materials that strictly adhered to the requirements of the Living Building Challenge.