A Copper Box of Daylighting in the Woods | Home Design Find

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A Copper Box of Daylighting in the Woods

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The Copper House, designed as his own weekend home by architect Andy Bernheimer, AIA, and his firm Della Valle Bernheimer utilizes bounces day lighting from above to an unusual extent, in an attempt to save energy (just from lighting). Basically, it is an experiment with a light box.

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With so few windows on the sides of the “copper box” the top-down daylighting is quite noticeable. Although the light spills down from above, it is harvest at the sides. For example, this dining room’s light harvester faces west, and it redirects the last glimpses of dusk down on the table.

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Although this extensive exploration of day lighting is interesting, the architect was not really focused on green design. Although there is radiant flooring; the water for it is heated by a propane boiler. Hardly green.

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The cabinets are faced with recycled aluminum. Not very green. That is because aluminum would be much better recycled as aluminum cans, which can cut the energy needed to make cans from scratch by 90%.

But it is green to redirect so much ambient daylight in a usable form, bringing it down from above; to light tasks. It is really daylight that supplies the light in this “fluorescent” fixture in the kitchen.

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The first rays of the sunlight in the East enter these openings, bounce off a light shelf and onto a plane that curves downward into the room below, bringing down natural light, telescope-like.

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The exterior is clad primarily in vertically oriented corrugated copper siding and flat-seam and standing-seam copper roofing. The material requires no refinishing, says Bernheimer, who forecasts that it should last between 30 and 50 years.

Source: GreenSource Construction

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One comment so far to “A Copper Box of Daylighting in the Woods”
  1. rmagley Says:

    My house has asphalt shingles—a material I deplore as it is very "un-green." I liked the design of the Copper Box until I read that the siding, like my shingles, has a very short life span. 30-50 years is a very short life compared to some other exterior finishes.

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