Design Strategies towards High Performance Market Rate Housing: The 125 Haus in Utah

By Joerg Ruegemer.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes the design process of the 125 Haus, which is a compact single-family residential building for the Northern Utah Cold Climate Zone priced at market rate. A holistic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach to architecture leads to a carefully designed, highly energy-efficient, sustainable and cost-effective building, where the focus is on integrated passive energy design. This leads to a building that performs near net zero energy, operating almost independently of fossil forms of energy. For the design process, the author analyzed design and construction processes in the professional field of architecture for several projects in the same region, including documentation, analysis, and post-occupancy monitoring of the Park City Snow Creek project, which is a low-energy, 13-unit housing development for the affordable market. A major hindrance to efficient design and development process that allows for high performance buildings at market rate was identified by the author as being a lack of communication and understanding between architects, engineers, and contractors/builders that are involved in such processes, especially in the field of residential architecture. By bridging this gap, the design team of the 125 Haus was able to fully apply collaborative team efforts and synergies towards a well-designed, high performance, and cost-effective building.

The integrated design process in tandem with energy modeling and a close collaboration between architect, contractor, and structural and mechanical engineers delivers a context-based and regionally rooted architecture. The result is expected to be 90% efficient over the IECC 2006 built-to-code benchmark.

Keywords: Energy-efficient Housing, Cost-effective Housing, High-performance Housing, Passive Energy Design Concepts, Cost-effective Design Methods, Integrated Collaborative Design Process

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.253-276. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.379MB).

Joerg Ruegemer

Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Joerg Ruegemer graduated with a Masters in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and a Diplom-Ingenieur Architekt from the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany. He has worked internationally for large architectural firms, including Frank O. Gehry in Los Angeles and Bothe Richter Teherani in Hamburg. Mr. Ruegemer is a licensed architect in Germany, eligible to practice in all countries of the European Union, and an Associate Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He has taught at Karlsruhe and Cottbus University of Technology in Germany, where he led the Department for Architectural Design and CAD, and at the School of Architecture at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where he served as the Director for Digital Design. He has received numerous international scholarships and architectural awards, including 13 placements in international architectural and urban competitions, 4 completed projects, many scholarly publications, and numerous international lectures on sustainable architectural and urban design, passive and design strategies, and virtual design. Professional exhibitions include displays at the Utah Design Award Exhibition in Salt Lake City, the BEA International Gallery in Miami, and the Art Museum of Western Virginia. Joerg Ruegemer runs his architectural studio in Hamburg and Salt Lake City, where he teaches Sustainable Architectural and Urban Design at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Utah.


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