Veccio e Nuovo is Tree Construction’s poster child for beautiful, sustainable housing on an affordable budget. With a demanding budget dictating the design, this project employed extensive use of an integrated design process to achieve a stunning result.
The process of designing and building with a budget goal is difficult. Often single decisions have collateral affects on the budget which can be detrimental to meeting the goal. Strategically designing for the site is one of the most important and overlooked principles in the design process. Veccio e Nuovo met the challenge by adhering to a simple, rectangular building envelope, investing in windows and insulation, and using re-purposed material and smart design features. The floor plan follows a simple orientation of rooms and the windows have been carefully organized to adequately daylight the interior spaces and take advantage of the stunning views of Mt. Begbie, and Macpherson. In addition to light and views, high-quality, strategically placed windows are on “double duty”, also providing solar heat gain which – coupled with a tight building envelope and over-insulation – provides significant energy savings in the winter months. The benefits of investing in good windows far outweigh their upfront costs and lend themselves to ensuring a comfortable thermal gradient within the house.
Another key factor in minimizing the footprint of this build was to ensure the dimension of the foundation matched the Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) system. This approach made the foundation labour lightning fast, substantially reduced material costs and eliminated waste. Using old materials cut to fit and finish out a new space proved to be a far better cost saving than using new material to renovate an old space. This approach also accentuated the old patina of the material, bringing to life a rustic modern vernacular. The re-purposing of material through smart design and careful planning also further reduced the amount of construction waste going to landfills.
The savings in using re-purposed material and smart design features, gave us the option to ‘re-invest’ into other elements or add options such as the covered porch and deck area at the back. This offered a place to take in a sunny morning, sit outside in the rain, and share barbecue nights with friends. Veccio e Nuovo, lives large and fits like a well tailored suit, not too big, nor too small. A classic, that fits just right!