Renovation: A Home that Breathes

A good environmental solution is to rehabilitate and to re-use an older building. Less waste material from demolition efforts is diverted to the landfill when a house and its main structure is re-used and updated. Best of all, a house's original wood structure is more desireable due to its decades of indoor seasoning… and if from earlier growth timber, are generally better strength and straighter – with less knots and warps.

An important item in the renovation planning for this 1960s house was the housing of 50+ aquariums and terrariums for tropical fish, orchids, turtles, and frogs. Over 300 frogs. The animals and their habitats created a lot of moisture. It was not energy wise to keep electric fans switched on daily to circulate, and to exhaust the humid air. This home had to breathe naturally.

The house was renovated to facilitate natural air circulation with openings through select floors and walls. Designed as vertical wall slots and floor gaps, they were functional and as well as displayed as design features. A skylight placed above a stairwell provided natural daylight, and when opened, air rises and is flushed out – cooling and removing the stale air. On a warm day, the opening of the skylight drops the house's temperature by at least 3°C in less than 20 minutes. A floor gap between floors at the large feature window allowed air to freely flow, keeping windows free of condensation, thereby discouraging problems associated with fungus, mildew, and mould.

Retain building footprint

A benefit of retaining an older house, is the ability to maintain and build on the house's placement and setbacks that were formulated on earlier zoning regulations.

Interior Living Spaces

不要總是依賴科技。用簡單的解決方案去創造舒適– 替換窗戶、挑樑、為陽光和天氣保障而設的篷子;通過在牆壁、地板和天窗的開口讓空氣流通循環以達到自然通風的效果;讓日光照在屋內空間;把"客廳"創建在室外花園,同時可以作為有價值的城市居所,讓我們的同胞共享我們的生活圈子。 黄海天 : : 建築師+ 都市生態學家

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