CHIP's Architectural concept is driven by two sides of the net zero equation: energy production and energy consumption. CHIP's design is both responsive to the sun in its orientation and massing, while simultaneously expressing the performative duties of its envelope with respect to energy conservation. The most singular feature of the design is CHIP's unique exterior envelope strategy: a skin and insulation assembly which turns conventional wisdom on its head, wearing its thermal performance "on its sleeve." Separating the structural members from the insulating layer, and wrapping the insulation assembly in a flexible vinyl membrane gives CHIP an exterior envelope with the extremely high R-values necessary for a net-zero house, at a significantly reduced cost, while indexing this performance in its physical appearance. CHIP's flexible, stepped interior adopts the ethic of "doing-more-with-less", allowing a single, continuous volume to perform in a variety of different ways to serve the occupants daily needs.
The program is divided into a series of platforms which are terraced upward and inwards, from the most public to most private. The distribution of program from north-to-south, and high-to-low, facilitates the occupants' daily rhythms: a progression downhill in the morning in the form of sleep/groom/dress/eat/live - and vice versa in the evening. The interior aesthetic and features were designed with the "active Californian" in mind, engaging the occupant, allowing him to interact and customize the space. The east interior wall is a canvas of interchangeable cabinets and soft furniture configurable upon occupant needs. Overhead shelf beams serve as additional storage options. The bathroom is designed as a wet room featuring swingable wood plank flooring which open up to reveal a stainless steel bathtub.
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